Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Reminiscences of Baptist churches and Baptist leaders in New York city and vicinity, from 1835-1898..."

See other formats




t 



fl^J^ /3^^.;cc<YcA...^'^^--^^ 



ci,*i ^3, / 9/ ^, 




M. R- FL-ETCHER 

OWlOHT BAPTit- CHUROH 
ALABAMA CITY. vLA 




3y lo2.4^ 

N5H2. 



«.fLin[?«f^'®^*^ 



REMINISCENCES ^^^'^^^^' 

OF BAPTIST CHURCHES t;^''^' ^^ ^^ ■ 
AND BAPTIST LEADERS Xilui,iu«LSt^ 
IN NEW YORK CITY AND 
VICINITY, FROM 1835-1898 



BY 

GEORGE H. HANSELL 



mttb an UnttoOuctlon 

BY 

W. H. P. FAUNCE, D.D. 






PHILADELPHIA 

American ^Baptist publication Socictis 

1899 



n 



Copyright iSgg by 
George H. Hansell 



ftom tbc press of tbe 
Bmerfcan Saptist publication Society 



INTRODUCTION 



The following reminiscences of Baptist history 
in the metropolis are so lucidly written that the only 
introduction needed is a word of friendly apprecia- 
tion. The writer makes no claim to original and 
scientific research, but he may justly claim intimate 
association with most of our church leaders for the 
past sixty years. And while he would be the last 
to say quorum pars magna fui, I may be allowed to 
say for him that no man among us has been more 
alert to the conditions of church life in this city, or 
has rendered more devoted service, than himself. 

America is usually impatient of archives and 
documents. Its face is toward the future and the 
sunrise. Consequently we are sadly lacking in the 
historic sense, and in breadth of view. " In to-day 
already walks to-morrow," said Coleridge. True ; 
but in yesterday once walked to-day ; and no man 
is competent to guide the church to-day unless he 
knows the church of yesterday. The causes of our 
present strength, the reasons for present weakness, 
all lie deep rooted in the years that are gone. 

The Baptist churches of this city have had some 
notable leaders, both in the pulpit and in the pew ; 
men of marked and pow^erful personality, who im- 



IV INTRODUCTION 

pressed themselves deeply on their generation. To 
revere the memory of past leaders is the way to 
create leaders in the present. When Israel sang : 

We have heard with our ears, God, 
Our fathers have told us, 
What work thou didst in their days, 
In the days of old, 

then Israel was ready for any battle with any foe. 
Amid the changed conditions of modern city life, 
new methods are needed ; but the old heroism and 
simple faith and unswerving devotion are forever 
indispensable to the coming of the kingdom of God. 
Mr. HanselPs friends have urged upon him the 
duty of writing down a narrative of men and move- 
ments. It has been a labor of love on his part, 
and his only object is to quicken memory and kindle 
hope and stir us all to new ambition. And though 
he well knows that he is working in the light of the 
sunset, he works with serene and steadfast faith in 
God^s great to-morrow. It is an inspiration to us 
all to see those who have been long in the service 
growing daily younger in hope and courage and gen- 
ial optimism, and recalling the past only for the 
sake of instructing and molding the future, and 
cheering the young men for their new task. So in 
the old Greek races, one runner handed on the torch 
to another. So Jacob cried : " The Angel which 
redeemed me from all evil bless the lads ! ^' 

New York, June, 1899. W. H. P. FauNCE. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

Introduction iii 

I. Introductory 1 

II. The Baptist Churches of the City .... 7 

III. The Mulberry Street Church and Rev. 

Archibald Maclay 11 

IV. The Oliver Street Church and Spencer H. 

Cone 19 

V. A Digression 24 

VI. Oliver Street Church (Continued), 1841- 

1890 27 

VII. North Beriah and South Baptist Churches 35 

VIII. Stanton Street Baptist Church 39 

IX. The North Baptist Church 49 

X. The Amity Baptist Church 53 

XI. Sixteenth Baptist Church 59 

XII. The Tabernacle Church 62 

XIII. The Norfolk Street Church (now Fifth 

Avenue) 72 

XIV. Rev. Thomas Armitage 76 

V 



Vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XV. The Baptist Lay-Preaching Association 82 

XVI. The Norfolk Street Church (Continued) 86 

XVII. The Norfolk Street Church (Continued) 92 

XVIII. The Fifth Avenue Church 96 

XIX. The Fifth Avenue Church (Continued) . 103 

XX. Interdenominational Services 135 

XXI. The Fifth Avenue Church (Continued) . 143 

XXII. The Fifth Avenue Church (Continued) . 147 

XXIII. The First Church from 1841 to 1897, and 

Other Churches 150 

XXIV. Churches Outside the City Limits ... 180 
XXV. Baptist Leaders or Leading Baptists . . 185 

XXVI. A Closing Word 196 

Appendix 202 

Index 205 



LIST OF PORTRAITS 



PAGE 

Deacon George H. Hansell Frontispiece 

Rev. Archibald Maclay, D. D 11 

Rev. Spencer H. Cone, D. D 19 

Rev. George Benedict 42 

Rev. Thomas Armitage, D. D 76 

Deacon Charles T. Goodwin 89 

Hon. George H. Andrews 101 

Jabez A. Bostwich 136 

Deacon Benjamin F. Judson 164 

Deacon William Colgate 185 



REMINISCENCES OF BAPTIST CHURCHES 

AND 

LEADERS IN NEW YORK CITY 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 



IN carrying out my purpose to write these Remi- 
niscences, I make no apology for the frequent 
use of the personal pronoun, wherever it may seem 
necessary or convenient. Furthermore, I beg that 
no one will think that I aspire to literary distinc- 
tion. What I shall attempt will be to narrate what 
has come under my own observation concerning 
Baptist churches and Baptist leaders in New York, 
since I have known the city. 

It will be readily seen, however, that in order to 
make my narrative intelligible, I have had to gather 
from others some account of persons and events liv- 
ing or happening prior to my personal knowledge of 
the city. Beyond this, my only aim will be to re- 
late the same in simple phrase, and so far as a tol- 
erably retentive memory will permit, with the most 
perfect accuracy and impartiality. 

1 



2 REMINISCENCES 

Perhaps my task will be easier, and my narrative 
better understood, if (without intending to be ego- 
tistic) I introduce a little of my personal history. 

I was born in England in the year 1814, in a 
little village in the county of Essex, called Hatfield- 
Peverel. This village is situated on the great east- 
ern thoroughfare (called locally, the London Road) 
between London and Harwich, — the former, as 
everybody knows, the metropolis of Great Britain, 
and the latter her principal eastern seaport, — and 
distant from each just thirty-six miles. 

In this village I lived until I was twenty-one 
years of age, without going more than twenty-one 
miles from home, and without seeing a town of more 
than five thousand inhabitants, until three days be- 
fore I sailed from St. Catharine's Dock, London, on 
my way to America. To me, therefore, New York, 
in which I landed, was a big city, although its geo- 
graphical limits did not extend much beyond where 
Cooper Union now stands, and its population was 
three hundred thousand. London at that time had 
one million two hundred and fifty thousand. I ar- 
rived in this city August 4, 1835, landing at Castle 
Garden, after a voyage of forty-eight days, on the 
old packet ship Samson, Captain Daniel Chadwick, 
from London. I stopped for a few days after my 
arrival at a hotel in Frankfort Street near Chatham. 
Having adjusted my baggage and eaten my dinner, 
I strolled out for a walk, and providentially met my 
first acquaintance in New York. I had dropped 



INTRODUCTORY 3 

into a boot and shoe store in William Street to ask 
a question, and noticed, lying on a settee, a news- 
paper called ^' The Gospel Witness." Taking it up 
I found it to be a Baptist journal. As my parents 
were both Baptists, I entered into conversation with 
the proprietor of the store, Mr. Samuel B. Combs, 
and learned that he was a member of the First Bap- 
tist Church of New York. Thus commenced my 
first friendship in New York. Deacon Combs in- 
vited me to call again, and we saw each other fre- 
quently. His kindly manners and fatherly counsel 
so endeared him to me that we became fast friends, 
and continued to be such until the day of his de- 
parture to the "better country." Perhaps there are 
some yet living who remember the genial smile with 
which the good deacon welcomed his friendly callers, 
and invited them to " take a seat and sit down." 

The following Sunday found me in the Oliver 
Street Baptist meeting-house listening with delight 
to a sermon by Rev. Daniel Dodge, of Newark, 
N. J., who was for that day supplying the pulpit, 
while the pastor of the church, Rev. Spencer H. 
Cone, was enjoying a brief vacation at his favorite 
summer resort, Schooley's Mountain, N. J. Here 
he was buried in 1855, and here his honored dust 
sleeps beside that of his beloved wife, waiting the 
resurrection of the just. 

I cannot say that my interest in the Oliver Street 
Church and its pastor commenced with the day on 
which I first entered its meeting-house, for I had 



4 EEMINISCENCES 

heard of both while at home from a friend of my 
grandfather, who had formerly spent a few^ years in 
this city, during which he sat under Doctor Cone's 
ministry. It was this prior knowledge that induced 
me (the day after my arrival) to visit Oliver Street 
to get a view of the exterior of the house of worship. 
It was the structure that preceded the building now 
occupying the same site, and, according to a tablet 
on its front, was erected in 1819. The pulpit, con- 
forming to the prevailing custom of that day, was 
at the entrance, so that the preacher stood with his 
back to the street. I had seen but one Baptist 
meeting-house in England, and that would hold less 
than three hundred persons when crow^ded to its ut- 
most capacity. I thought, consequently, that the 
Oliver Street house was really an imposing edifice. 
Baptists, as I had known them, usually worshiped 
in barns or small schoolrooms, or, these not being 
attainable, in private houses At one time while I 
was a boy I attended public worship regularly in a 
long, low, narrow building which had formerly been 
a rabbit-warren, and was still in contempt so called. 
My father and mother were both immersed when I 
was about fifteen years old, going to a town seven- 
teen miles away to have the ordinance administered. 
But although until that time unbaptized I have 
reason to thank God that they were both Christians 
before I was born. A godly parentage is the best 
of all earthly heritages. 

When I came to this city I had made no public 



INTRODUCTORY 5 

confession of Christ, and entertained no assurance 
that I had been converted ; but I had read the New 
Testament from early childhood. When I was but 
four years old and did not '^ even know my letters," 
my grandfather gave me my first " reading lesson," 
from Gen. 1:1. At the end of a month's hard 
study I could read a chapter in the New Testament, 
and never doubted that immersion is the only bap- 
tism. Yet I had never seen it administered until 
one Lord's Day shortly after my arrival in the city, 
when I saw Mr. Cone lead several converts, both 
men and women, down into the pool in front of the 
pulpit, where he immersed them in the name of the 
Holy Trinity. I then received an impression con- 
cerning the solemnity and beauty of the ordinance 
such as I can never forget. 

About a year thereafter I was led down into the 
same baptistery by another administrator, Rev. John 
Dowling, and was baptized into the fellowship of 
the West Baptist Church, then worshiping in what 
was known as Doctor Mitchell's old (Universalist) 
church, standing on the corner of Duane Street and 
City Hall Place. The site now belongs to Roman 
Catholics, who took down the old building and 
erected a new one, which is still standing. 

Doctor Mitchell, as I have been told, was not a 
Unitarian, but believed and taught that the Christ 
had suffered and made an atonement for the sins of 
the whole world and every one that is born into it, 
and by virtue of that sacrificial atonement every in- 



6 REMINISCENCES 

dividual would be saved. The reasoning seems 
logical, but I do not think the conclusion is scrip- 
tural. 

From this time forward my interest in Baptists 
and Baptist churches, the purity and constancy of 
their faith, the rectitude of their lives, the inde- 
pendence of their church government, acknowledging 
no head but Christ their Redeemer and Lord, the 
regularity of their order, and the inviolability of 
their discipline, has ever been deep, constant, and 
abiding. 



CHAPTER II 



THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF THE CITY 



THE following list comprises all the Baptist 
churches existing in New York City in 1835, 
with the dates of their organization (so far as ascer- 
tained), their location, and the pastors then occupy- 
ing their pulpits : 



Churches. 



Organ- 
ized. 



First, 1762, 

Oliver Street, 1791, 
Abyssinian, 1808, 

North Beriah, 1813, 
South, 1822, 

Stanton Street, 1823, 
North, 1827, 

Amity Street, 1832, 
Zion, 1832, 

Sixteenth, 1833, 

Broome Street, 1834, 
Mulberry Street, 
East, 

Second (so claimed) 
Second (so claimed) 



Location. 
Gold St., 
Oliver St., 
Anthony St., 
Macdougal St., 
Nassau St., 
Stanton St., 
Bedford St., 
Amity St., 
Pearl St., 
Sixteenth St., 
Broome St., 
Mulberry St., 
Grand St., 
Chrystie St., 
Bowery, 



Pastors. 
Wm. Parkinson. 
Spencer H. Cone. 
Wm. Spelman. 
Duncan Dunbar. 
Chas. G. Somers. 
George Benedict. 
Jacob H. Brouner. 
Wm. R. Williams. 
John T. Raymond. 
Jas. L. Hodge. 

Archibald Maclay. 
John Middleton. 
Johnson Chase. 
Wm. G. Miller. 1 



Mr. Chase did not remain in Chrystie Street long, 

^ For such information as I have been able to get regard- 
ing the last two claims I am indebted to my friend, Mr. G. 
M. Vanderlip (see later pages). I do not know on what 
those claims rest. 

7 



8 REMINISCENCES 

but preached in a small church in Mott Street near 
Broome. 

From my friend, Mr. Yanderlip, I have learned 
the following: "In the year 1770 a division arose 
in the First Baptist Church on the question of lin- 
ing the hymns before singing, as had been the cus- 
tom, or using hymn books. By a vote of the church 
the latter course was adopted, and thereupon four- 
teen persons asked for letters of dismission, and or- 
ganized the Second Baptist Church of New York 
City. In 1789 another difficulty arose in the First 
Church, resulting in the exclusion of thirteen per- 
sons, for opposition to the pastor, for what they 
called his ^ new divinity.' 

"These persons were at once received into the 
Second Church, and trouble between the two churches 
very naturally followed. But in January, 1890, 
leave was given by the First Church to all who de- 
sired (including the excluded members) to take let- 
ters. Eighteen persons availed themselves of this 
privilege, and these also joined the Second Church. 
Among the constituent members of the latter, was 
one Francis A^an Dyke, who manifested a disposi- 
tion to rule the whole church. The new members 
resisting this. Van Dyke, who owned the house in 
which their meetings were held, closed the door 
upon them. This occurred late in 1789 or at the 
beginning of 1790. From 1791 the Oliver Street 
Church has full minutes of its proceedings, bat pre- 
viously the minutes were kept by Mr. Van Dyke, 



THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF THE CITY y 

and he retained them. The majority of the mem- 
bers protested against his action, and strove to con- 
vince him and his adherents of their wrong-doing, 
and to effect reconciliation, but in vain. Two par- 
ties now claimed to be the Second Church. One 
was represented by Jeremiah Dodge, Rev. John 
Dodge (who joined the church in 1770), Thomas 
Garniss, Samuel Jones, and Ezekiel Archer ; the 
other by Mr. Van Dyke and his adherents. After 
numerous hearings by conventions, councils, and in- 
vestigating committees, it was decided that Thomas 
Garniss and his associates were the Second Baptist 
Church. Van Dyke appealed, and a mutual council 
was called, but Van Dyke refused to appear before 
it. Finally, in 1802, both churches abandoned the 
title of Second Baptist Church. The body led by 
Van Dyke took the name of Bethel Baptist Church, 
which is now extinct. The other party took the 
name of the Fayette Street Baptist Church, which, 
when the name of the street was changed, became 
the Oliver Street Baptist Church." 

In the list of Baptist churches given in this chap- 
ter there are but fifteen, but as a sixteenth neces- 
sarily implies fifteen before it, there must have 
been, either then or previously, another. Where 
was it ? I have heard that there was once a small 
body which for some cause separated from the First 
Church and assumed the name of the Zoar Baptist 
Church, but of its history I can find no trace. It 
must, I think, have been a short one. However 



10 REMINISCENCES 

this may have been, it seems necessary to assume 
the existence of a Baptist congregation somewhere 
not far distant, in order to account for the building 
of so large a church as that in Mulberry Street. It 
was a large structure, with a gallery all around. It 
would seat fifteen hundred people, and was the 
largest Baptist house of worship ever erected in this 
city, if that in Sixteenth Street is not an exception, 
until the Calvary Church built their new house in 
Fifty-seventh Street. Surely so large a house would 
not have been built for Baptists if there had not 
been a congregation of Baptists, or persons holding 
Baptist views, ready to enter it ; yet it is well known 
that Mulberry Street Church was never other than 
a Baptist church. 




ARCHIBALD MACLAY, D. D. 



CHAPTER III 

THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH AND REV. ARCHI- 
BALD MACLAY 

THE following interesting facts relating to Rev. 
Archibald Maclay, first pastor of the Mulberry 
Street Church, are gathered from the " Maclay Me- 
morial/' a copy of which was presented to the writer 
by the late Robert Maclay of this city : 

" Rev. Archibald Maclay, D. D., was born May 14, 
1776, at Green End, on the outskirts of the village 
of Killearn, Stirlingshire, Scotland, in a rural cot- 
tage which is said to have been in the family for 
many generations. His paternal grandfather was a 
man of high repute and an elder in a Presbyterian 
church. He lived to a great age. When on his 
deathbed he looked at his children with a complacent 
smile, and said : ' One generation goeth and another 
cometh. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' " 

Dr. Maclay's father was born in 1749, and died 
at the age of thirty-six years, when his son (who 
bore his name), was nine years old. His mother 
instructed her son carefully in the religion of the 
Bible. He read the Book of books over and over, 
and practised daily prayer. Subsequent experience 
taught him, however, that he had only the religion 

11 



12 REMINISCENCES 

of a young Pharisee, until he heard a sermon by- 
Rev. Mr. Wallis, from Eph. 1 : 7. From this he 
dates his conversion. 

"In the first transports of my love and gratitude," he 
says, * ' I could have embraced the preacher through 
whom was made known to me the wisdom and power of 
God unto salvation. But I was a diffident and friendless 
boy, and did not dare speak to him. I had never seen 
him before, and have never seen him since, but in my 
old age I met his son, Rev. Dr. Wallis, professor of the- 
ology in Kings College, Toronto, and acknowledged to 
him the debt I owed to his father." 

When the boy had experienced this change, his 
mother made him leader in their family worship. 
He joined the Church of the Seceders to which his 
mother belonged, and began to take part in their 
public meetings for prayer and conference. 

Up to this time his opportunities for education 
had been very limited. Subsequently (the family 
having removed to Glasgow) he was two years under 
the tuition of Rev. Greville Ewing, of that city. 
He finished his education at the University of Edin- 
burgh, where the celebrated Dugald Stewart was one 
of the professors, and was chiefly indebted for the 
means to do so to his lifelong friend, Mr. Robert 
Haldane, after whom he named his oldest son. He 
was ordained to the ministry in 1802, and became 
pastor of a church in Kircaldy, opposite Edinburgh, 
and the same year was married to Miss Mary 
Brown, of Glasgow. His ministry at Kircaldy was 



THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH 13 

attended with great success. In 1804 his mother 
died, and he then determined to carry out a plan 
formed long before, to emigrate. The missionary 
spirit in him was always dominant, and seeing no 
immediate prospect of an open door for missionaries 
in the East, he turned his attention to the West, and 
(with the advice of Mr. Haldane) chose America for 
the field of his future labors. 

Thereupon he resigned his pastorate, and on Oc- 
tober 28, 1805, he sailed from Greenock with his 
wife and two children. After a tempestuous and 
perilous voyage, the family arrived safely on our 
shores, and Dr. Maclay preached his first sermon in 
America on shipboard in New York harbor. His 
standing as an accredited minister of the gospel, his 
confidential relations with well-known representative 
characters in Great Britain, and his letters of com- 
mendation from such men as Dick, Haldane, Fuller, 
and Hall, gave him a favorable introduction to men 
of standing and influence in America. He was 
kindly received in the community and churches of 
New York, and was soon installed in a pastorate of 
his own. 

In this relation he continued to preach without 
any considerable intermission for thirty-two years, 
being from 1809 to 1837 pastor of the same church 
in Mulberry Street. 

But the question still remains unanswered. Where 
did Doctor Maclay preach before that time? On 
this the "MemoriaP^ is silent. It is certain that he 



14 REMINISCENCES 

commenced his ministry in New York as a Presby- 
terian. It is also certain that the Mulberry Street 
Church was never other than a Baptist church ; 
moreover, Doctor Maclay's ministry there did not 
commence until the year 1809. Where was he the 
four previous years ? It has been said that shortly 
after his arrival in New York, he was led to change 
his views regarding believers' baptism, and that he 
was immersed, but still continued preaching to the 
same people, until the larger part of, if not the entire 
congregation, embraced the same views. It has been 
fully ascertained that he received baptism at the 
hands of Kev. John Williams, in the Oliver Street 
meeting-house, but it does not appear that he ever 
became a member of that church. This information 
was obtained from James M. Whitehead, now of 
Washington, D. C, a former clerk of the Oliver 
Street Church. The probability of the above is 
moreover strengthened by the fact already recorded, 
the erection of the large church edifice in Mulberry 
Street, for it seems clear, as has been said, that so 
large a house would not have been built for Baptists 
had there not been somewhere not far distant a con- 
gregation of Baptists ready to occupy it. If so, 
where was it located? Probably in Rose Street, 
where "a moderately capacious meeting-house" is 
said to have been standing at that time. 

Doctor Maclay was esteemed a very earnest and 
able preacher, and a ripe scholar for that day. 
Multitudes flocked to hear him, and the large meet- 



THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH 15 

ing-house in Mulberry Street was crowded. After 
a while, liowever, such is the unsettled character of 
all earthly things, his popularity began to wane and 
his congregation to dwindle. For this two reasons 
will hereafter be assigned, neither of which, how- 
ever, detracted from, or in the smallest degree 
diminished, the high personal esteem and affection 
in which he was always held, not only by Baptists, 
but by Christian people of all denominations. 

Doctor Maclay retired from pastoral work in 
1837, at the age of sixty-one, to become the travel- 
ing agent and efficient advocate of the American and 
Foreign Bible Society, then recently formed, with 
Spencer H. Cone for president. The church, while 
accepting his resignation, passed the following reso- 
lution : 

Although it is painful to part with our pastor, espe- 
cially when we consider that he was the means, under 
God, of planting this church, and has so long been its 
faithful, affectionate, and devoted pastor, yet, believing 
that Providence has opened a wider field of usefulness for 
him in the Bible cause, and eminently qualified him to 
labor in it, we desire to acquiesce in this dispensation of 
Providence, and at the same time express our undimin- 
ished and aff'ectionate attachment to him. 

Thenceforth Doctor Maclay devoted the remain- 
der of his public life to the Bible cause, under the 
auspices of the American and Foreign Bible Society 
and the American Bible Union, having this object, 
as he expressed it, " To give the Bible translated to 



16 REMINISCENCES 

all nations, without any human addition, diminution, 
or concealment.'^ Engaged in this work he traveled 
extensively in the United States, Great Britain, and 
in some of the British Provinces, and was every- 
where well received. At home and abroad his name 
was as potent as his face was familiar. His sermon 
on the Bible cause was one of great power, and was 
published by the hundred thousand. It was trans- 
lated into the Welsh language, and to this day its 
influence is felt among the English and Welsh- 
speaking people throughout the United Kingdom, 
as well as in the United States. 

Doctor Maclay encountered many perils while 
traveling in the Bible cause, from some of which he 
narrowly escaped with his life. A firm believer in 
the doctrine of special Providence in the affairs of 
men, he always attributed his escape to the merci- 
ful interposition of Almighty God. 

Surely these escapes and exemptions were neither 
few in number nor ordinary in kind. One, and per- 
haps the most remarkable, occurred in 1845, and 
may be remembered by some of my older readers. 
In this catastrophe Doctor Maclay lost everything 
but his life. He had taken passage on the steamer 
Bellezane, of Zanesville, Ohio, bound for New Or- 
leans, which was " snagged '^ on the Mississippi, 
fifteen miles above the mouth of the Arkansas. Out 
of one hundred and twenty-five passengers sixty- 
five perished. Of the experience of the night's dis- 
aster, Doctor Maclay says : 



THE MULBERRY STREET CHURCH 17 

During the four hours I was on the wreck I spent 
most of the time in mental prayer. I felt resigned and 
composed, and I would with gratitude raise another 
Ebenezer, and say: "Hitherto the Lord hath helped 
me. What shall I render to God for all his mercies 
toward me ? " 

Doctor Maclay was neither disabled nor disheart- 
ened by this terrible ordeal. After a brief interval 
he resumed his work, and added to his already pro- 
tracted service nearly ten years more of arduous 
labor. The fruits of his labors did not fall off with 
the lapse of years. The experience and wisdom 
of age more than made up for the inevitable failure 
of physical energy, so that the acme of his useful- 
ness was at the close of his earthly career. 

To return to the history of Doctor Maclay's pas- 
torate in Mulberry Street. The first and perhaps 
the more potent of the causes hinted at as tending to 
deplete Doctor Maclay's congegation, was the com- 
ing to the church in Oliver Street, little more than 
a stone's throw distant, of a young, eloquent, and 
already famous preacher, in the person of Spencer 
Houghton Cone, whom that church had called to 
assist their venerated pastor. Rev. John Williams. 
Multitudes flocked to hear him from all parts of the 
city, and perhaps the Mulberry Street Church suf- 
fered most because it was the nearest. 

Another reason appeared thirteen years later, 
when many of the members, among them some of 
the wealthiest, were dismissed by letter for the pur- 



18 REMINISCENCES 

pose of forming a new Baptist interest on the west 
side of the city, to be known as the West Baptist 
Church — a laudable object certainly, but not des- 
tined to be successful. A church was organized and 
publicly recognized, receiving a hearty welcome into 
the family of Baptist churches. The new church 
held its first assemblies in Gothic Hall, then on 
Broadway (east side) one door below Pearl Street, 
and shortly afterward called Rev. John Dowling, 
then pastor of a church at Newport, R. I., to become 
their pastor. He accepted the call and preached 
with great acceptance. But the contemplated church 
edifice could not be built. The commercial panic 
which struck the entire country in 1837 and spread 
its disastrous results over the two following years, 
and which proved especially disastrous to this city 
because of the "great fire'' of 1835, swept away the 
fortunes of nearly, if not quite all, the brethren who 
had embarked in the new enterprise. The now en- 
feebled West Baptist Church, though heroically led 
by its pastor, was forced to abandon its name and 
its independent existence. It was finally merged in 
the new organization, thenceforth to be known as 
the Tabernacle Baptist Church, of which church 
more will be said. 

In order to facilitate this merging of interests, 
Doctor Dowling resigned, and shortly after became 
pastor of the Second Church, in Providence, R. I., 
then worshiping in Pine Street, of that city. 




SPENCER H. CONE, D. D. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE OLIVER STREET CHURCH AND SPENCER H. 
CONE 

SPENCER HOUGHTON CONE entered upon 
his work in May, 1823, having just passed his 
thirty-eighth birthday. His sermons were entirely 
unlike the usual preaching of that day, both in their 
structure and the manner of their delivery, and 
they at once charmed and captivated his hearers. 
Although but little above medium height, his erect 
and graceful figure gave him a distinguished person- 
ality which was at once impressive and pleasing. 
Added to this, he had an easy, even flow of lan- 
guage, never hesitating for a word, and rarely, if 
ever, recalling one. Perhaps the most wonderful of 
his gifts was his inimitable voice. It was not loud 
and startling, not metallic, except as it was golden ; 
not sometimes like a clap of thunder, and then an 
almost inaudible whisper — but it is easier to say 
what it was noty than to say what it was. Yet none 
ever listened to its mellifluous cadences without 
feeling a charm indescribable, but never to be for- 
gotten. Mr. Cone was not a stranger in our city 
when he came to take up his work in Oliver Street. 
His first visit (as we learn from the "Life of Spencer 

19 



20 REMINISCENCES 

H. Cone/' P^g^ 160) was in the fall or early winter 
of 1818, and the errand on which he came throws a 
forelight on his future career as the successful pro- 
moter of missionary work at home and abroad. He 
had been pastor successively of the little churches 
in Washington, D. C, and Alexandria, Va., and in 
both places his preaching attracted large congrega- 
tions, and resulted, through divine blessing, in the 
conversion of many persons. 

In 1818 he was pastor of the church in Alexan- 
dria. Gracious showers of divine blessing had de- 
scended on his ministry, and there were many conver- 
sions and great spiritual prosperity, but the people 
were poor, and then, as now. New York, always sup- 
posed to be rich and known to be generous, was the 
objective point to which the needy turned for help, 
and then as now, a church in such condition sends 
its pastor to plead its cause. Mr. Cone accepted 
the commission and the responsibility. A good 
friend, who knew how to put him on the right path, 
gave him a letter to Deacon Thomas Garniss (living 
then on the corner of James and Chatham Streets) 
and the next Lord's Day morning the young preacher 
from Virginia was heard (for the first time in New 
York) from the pulpit of the Oliver Street Baptist 
Church, pleading the cause of the little church under 
his pastoral care, which he rightly contended was a 
mission field. 

Mr. Cone's second visit to New York occurred a 
little later, when he preached in several of our 



THE OLIVER STREET CHURCH 21 

churches with such eclat that steps were immediately 
taken to induce him to leave his isolated position in 
Alexandria, and come to New York. This solicita- 
tion, first extended to him in 1818, was now pressed 
upon him by many of the acknowledged leaders and 
wealthiest members of our churches, with the assur- 
ance that a new interest should be started and a new 
church edifice be at once erected on the most eligible 
spot in the city, provided he would accept a call/ 
But Mr. Cone chose to remain in the locality where 
the Master first called him to labor, until he should 
have a fuller revelation or conviction of the divine 
will. This did not come to him, as we have seen, 
until 1823, nearly five years later. In the month 
of May of that year, he began his work in Oliver 
Street as assistant to Rev. John AVilliams, and on 
the death of that venerable man, on May 30, 1825, 
Spencer H. Cone, who had already been elected 
junior pastor, became the pastor of the Oliver Street 
Baptist Church. 

From this time forward his popularity as a 
preacher, his personal magnetism, and his marked 
ability as a presiding and executive officer, made 
Spencer H. Cone a central figure and an acknowl- 
edged leader in our Baptist Israel. The Oliver Street 
Church became a rallying center for the friends, espe- 
cially, of foreign missions. The " monthly concert of 
prayer for foreign missions,' ' held in the large lec- 

1 Life of S. H. Cone. 



22 KEMINISCENCES 

ture room of the church the first Monday of each 
month, attracted large numbers from all the other 
churches to hear reports from laborers on foreign 
fields, with all of which the Oliver Street pastor had 
put himself in communication, and with many of 
whom he had been more or less closely in touch for 
years before his coming to New York. His heart 
warmed with encouragement as he found himself 
surrounded with coadjutors, willing and able com- 
peers in the work of extending the knowledge of the 
Saviour throughout the whole world. The church 
in Oliver Street had heard and heeded the great 
commission : " Go ye into all the world and preach 
the gospel to every creature,'' and numbered among 
its members many of the most liberal contributors 
to carry out that command. It is a pleasing thought 
that God has honored their devotion, insomuch that 
their children and grandchildren are among the 
most active and efficient co-operators in the same 
good work to this day ! 

'^Faith'^ proded by ^^ works J^ Perhaps there have 
been few periods in the history of our churches when 
God's people labored more faithfully, and when the 
divine blessing resting on their labors was more con- 
spicuous. At no period, certainly, were the " weekly 
prayer meetings " better attended, the " neighborhood 
prayer meetings" more numerous, or supplication 
more earnest ! This too was the period of " early 
prayer meetings," often held as early as five o'clock 
A. M., in the depth of winter too. How well I re- 



THE OLIVER STREET CHURCH 23 

member the Sunday morning prayer meeting, held 
in the gallery back of the pulpit in the old Oliver 
Street Church, and led by one of the deacons, to 
seek preparation for, and ask a blessing on, the Sun- 
day-school instruction, the preaching of the word, 
and all the exercises of the sacred day. 



CHAPTER V 

A DIGRESSION 

IF asked why, after giving a list of our churches 
in the order of their organization, I omit the 
First Church, organized in 1763, and pass on to the 
Oliver Street Church, organized twenty-eight years 
later, I reply. With a single exception, I am in- 
debted for all the knowledge I possess concerning 
the former church, prior to 1841, to my friend 
Roger H. Lyon, Esq., and an address read by him 
at the laying of the corner-stone of their present 
church on Boulevard, corner of Seventy-ninth Street. 
The exception : In the latter part of 1835 or the 
beginning of 1836, 1 attended public worship in the 
meeting-house of the First Baptist Church, in Gold 
Street between Fulton and John Streets. The 
ground on Avhich the house stood was afterward a 
coal yard, and is now occupied by Robert Hoe & 
Co., for some part of their business as printing press 
manufacturers. There I heard a sermon from Rev. 
William Parkinson. He was a man of noble pres- 
ence and dignified bearing, much above medium 
height and far past the meridian of life. I did not 
then consider him an orator, although I believe he 
was so considered, but he impressed me as a re- 

24 



A DIGRESSION 25 

markably clear, cogent, and forceful preacher. In 
these particulars perhaps there are few superiors to 
him even in the present day. I have been informed 
that Doctor Parkinson was accustomed to preach on 
Sunday afternoons during suitable weather from the 
steps of the City Hall, where he sometimes spoke to 
one thousand persons, and that when he resigned his 
pastorate in the First Church it was his purpose 
never to accept another, but to continue these Sun- 
day afternoon addresses so long as he should have 
strength to do so. Afterward, however, he was 
persuaded otherwise, as we shall see when we come 
to note the organization of the Bethesda Baptist 
Church. 

The writer trusts too, that he will be pardoned 
for continuing this digression long enough to record 
what he knows of the history of two noble churches, 
composed of people of color, which were in existence 
in 1835. 

The first of these, the Abyssinian Church, was 
located in Anthony Street, corner of Church Street. 
The church was organized in 1808. Its pastor. 
Rev. William Spelman, was of Southern birth, a 
barber by profession, and like Onesimus, once a 
slave. He possessed great strength of character 
and ruled like an autocrat; but his people respected 
and loved him, and his church-membership was at 
one time the largest of any Baptist church in the 
city. The up-town movement of business forced 
them to abandon their location, and they found 



26 REMINISCENCES 

scant shelter in the small frame building in Waverly 
Place, where they still remain. The old pastor saw 
much trouble in his later days through some who 
sought to create divisions in the church, but he lived 
to a good old age and retained to the last the sym- 
pathy and respect of all his white brethren, both 
ministers and laymen. But the strife in the church 
continued, and for twelve years they were deprived 
of fellowship in the Southern New York Baptist 
Association, because of their persistent litigation in 
the courts. 

In 1897 they reported to the Association that they 
had withdrawn all their suits, and on the strength 
of this report they were restored to fellowship and 
to their original position in the list of churches. 
The church is now under the pastoral care of Rev. 
R. D. Wynn, and is believed to be prospering, spir- 
itually at least, its present (1898) number being 
eight hundred and eighty. 

The second, the Zion Baptist Church, was organ- 
ized in 1832. In 1835, and many years later, it 
was under the care of Rev. John T. Raymond. It 
worshiped in Pearl Street a little west of Chatham. 

After Mr. Raymond's death it had a very check- 
ered history, but still maintains its visibility at 164 
West Twenty-sixth Street, where it enjoys the excel- 
lent ministry of Rev. J. W. Scott, its present (1898) 
membership being three hundred and ninety-six. 



CHAPTER VI 

OLIVER STREET CHURCH (CONTINUED), 1841-1890 

AFTER the resignation of Spencer H. Cone, the 
Oliver Street Church called for their next 
pastor Rev. Elisha Tucker, d. d., of Rochester, 
N. Y. Doctor Tucker entered upon his pastoral 
work on the first Sunday in October, 1841, and 
served the church with great acceptance until May, 
1848, when he resigned to accept the pastorate of 
the First Baptist Church in Chicago, 111. His res- 
ignation was accepted with deep regret, and the 
church voted him a half-year's salary as a token of 
their love and appreciation of his faithful services. 

After Doctor Tucker resigned the church was 
without a pastor for a year and a half, but was 
faithfully supplied by Rev. Lemuel Covel. During 
Doctor Tucker's pastorate the church was greatly 
afflicted in the loss of their meeting-house by fire, 
the house in which they and their fathers had wor- 
shiped since 1819. No time was lost in preparing 
to erect a new edifice ; but many tender memories 
were stirred, and many hearts made sad. Yet Doc- 
tor Tucker's pastorate is still remembered as one of 
the most successful on their records. 

The following description of a monthly Commun- 

27 



28 REMINISCENCES 

ion, copied by permission from a paper read by Mr. 
George M. Yanderlip, at the thirtieth anniversary 
of the Hudson River Baptist Association, South, is 
a pen-picture worthy of an artist : 

On an elevated platform in front of the pulpit, sat in 
the center the imposing and dignified form of the pas- 
tor, Doctor Tucker, a man of fifty years, whose long hair 
was turning silvery gray, supported by six venerable- 
looking deacons, all older than himself. On one side sat 
the gentle and well-beloved Thomas Purser, then James 
Wilson, then Robert Edwards ; on the other side Jacob 
Smith (the oldest deacon), then Roger Pegg, and then 
the youngest deacon, Isaac Newton. It was a goodly 
sight. They are all in heaven now. "They rest from 
their labours and their works do follow them. ' ' 

Doctor Tucker died in 1853, while on a visit to 
his son in Cumberland, Md. At the solicitation of 
many members of the Oliver Street Church who had 
been converted under his ministry, the family per- 
mitted his remains to be brought to this city to be 
buried from the Oliver Street meeting-house, and to 
rest in Greenwood Cemetery, where a lot was pur- 
chased and a monument erected by the same friends, 
and then made over to the survivors of the family. 

In 1849 the church extended a call to Rev. E. L. 
Magoon, of Cincinnati, O., to become their pastor, 
and he consented to supply their pulpit for six 
months, at the end of which time he accepted a per- 
manent call. The widespread reputation of the 
gifted pastor attracted large numbers to their house 



OLIVER STREET CHURCH 29 

of worship ; but the tide of the church-going popu- 
lation had set up-town and stores and tenement 
houses had begun to fill the streets where had been 
the dwellings of a large proportion of the church- 
members. The movement was a sudden one, and 
the churches which followed the population pros- 
pered. For several years there was much encour- 
agement in large congregations, and numerous con- 
versions, but the steady drain by removals continu- 
ing, left little to hope for. The prospect of removal 
being still remote, on June 30, 1857, Doctor Magoon 
tendered his resignation, which was finally accepted, 
the church voting him a present of one thousand 
dollars. During the pastorate of Doctor Magoon, 
Rev. C. C. Norton was ordained to the ministry, 
and accepted the pastoral care of the Sixth Street 
Baptist Church, and Rev. Howard Osgood, formerly 
an Episcopalian, was immersed. Rev. Doctor Nor- 
ton preached the gospel in this city forty years, and 
recently went to his rest. Dr. Howard Osgood now 
fills a professor's chair in the theological seminary 
at Rochester, N. Y. 

In April, 1858, and again in February, 1859, the 
Oliver Street Church extended a call to Rev. Henry 
G. Weston, of Peoria, 111., to become their pastor. 
These first calls were declined, but being providen- 
tially in the city in March of the same year, he was 
invited to preach, and finally agreed to accept the 
call. His acceptance gave great joy to the church, 
and his preaching gave universal satisfaction, but 



30 REMINISCENCES 

each passing month made the necessity for speedy 
removal more apparent and more pressing, and a 
committee of judicious brethren was appointed to 
examine into the matter and report some plan of 
action. After the report had been received, au- 
thority was given to sell the property and purchase 
lots somewhere within the territory bounded by 
Third and Fourth Avenues, and Thirty-Second 
and Thirty-fourth Streets. Before anything defi- 
nite had been accomplished the church received a 
communication from the Madison Avenue Baptist 
Church, whose pastor. Dr. William Hague, had re- 
signed, suggesting a union of these two churches. 
The proposition was so far favorably entertained as 
to lead to the appointment of a committee consisting 
of deacons Wm. Phelps, Samuel Raynor, Richard 
Stout, and brethren Wm. D. Murphy, Alfred Decker, 
John M. Ferrier, and Geo. M. Vanderlip, to meet 
a committee of the same number of the Madison 
Avenue Baptist Church, consisting of brethren Geo. 
W. Abbe, Hiram Huston, Joseph F. Lake, Wm. H. 
Chapman, Thos. Porter, Wm. J. Todd, and Jeremiah 
Milbank, who were instructed to consider the whole 
matter, and if they thought it advisable, to report 
some plan for uniting the two churches in one. 
These brethren, after serious consideration, agreed 
upon a plan of union which they recommended to 
their respective churches, and which said churches 
adopted, recommending that application be made by 
each church to the Court for permission to sell their 



OLIVER STREET CHURCH 31 

respective properties and to become one church, un- 
der the corporate name of the Madison Avenue 
Baptist Church, with the following stipulations : 

First. That the Madison Avenue Church shall 
convey all its property, real and personal, to the 
Oliver Street Baptist Church, and that its corporate 
powers shall then cease ; that said church shall then 
make a list of its members, duly certified by its 
clerk, for the purpose of its union with the Oliver 
Street Church ; that on such list being presented, 
they shall be constituted members of that church, 
and thereupon the regular services shall be held in 
the house of worship of the Madison Avenue 
Church. 

Second. The trustees of the Oliver Street Church 
are to resign, and an election for new trustees or- 
dered by the congregation united, shall be had ; the 
resignation of the present trustees to take effect 
when others shall have been elected. 

Third. The Oliver Street Baptist Church then 
to take the necessary steps to cause its corporate 
name to be changed to that of the Madison Avenue 
Baptist Church. 

Fourth. The real and personal property now 
owned by the Madison Avenue Baptist Church and 
that owned by the Oliver Street Baptist Church, 
upon such transfer and union as aforesaid, is to 
become liable for the indebtedness of both said 
churches. 

On September 29, 1862, at meetings duly called, 



32 REMINISCENCES 

the report of the joint committee was adopted by 
both churches respectively, and the trustees of both 
churches were authorized and directed to take the 
necessary steps to perfect the union of said two 
churches. 

On October 6, 1862, at a meeting duly called, 
the trustees of the Oliver Street Baptist Church 
adopted and approved a resolution pledging them- 
selves to carry out and perfect said plan and agree- 
ment for effecting and perfecting a union of said two 
churches. Other stipulations were added and mu- 
tually agreed to, and thereupon formal application 
was made to, and obtained from, the Supreme Court 
to issue an order to complete the same. Said appli- 
cation was signed by S. Y. Bagley, attorney, in be- 
half of the petition of the Oliver Street Church, and 
by William H. Chapman, chairman, and George W. 
Abbe, secretary of the Board of trustees of the Mad- 
ison Avenue Baptist Church. 

The order of the Court was issued, and so far the 
union of the two churches seemed to be perfect and 
to promise the happiest results. But alas ! it turned 
out far otherwise. Slight misunderstandings led 
unhappily to acrid disputes ; criminations and re- 
criminations followed, resulting in an "appeal to 
Caesar." A fierce litigation ensued which lasted 
twenty years, causing sorrow to every Christian 
heart, while the ungodly pointed the finger of scorn, 
and said — not, "See how these Christians love one 
another," but, " How they bite and devour one an- 



OLIVER STREET CHURCH 33 

other.^' Yet these litigants were earnest Christian 
men, and both sides believed they were in the right. 
Among those on both sides the writer cherishes the 
memory of many who were his very dear friends. 
Let us remember their many virtues, and cast the 
mantle of charity over their human failures. The 
litigation was at length brought to an end by the 
final decision of the Supreme Court, which ruled 
that, owing to a defect in the deed of conveyance, 
the property in dispute had never passed from its 
first owners to the new organization (the united 
church), and consequently the Oliver Street Church 
had paid its money without receiving the stipulated 
consideration. On the other hand, they (the Oliver 
Street people) had had the use of property to which 
they had no legal title, and must therefore pay rent. 

The Court subsequently awarded what it consid- 
ered an equitable sum to the Oliver Street party, 
and with the amount so awarded, and very large 
contributions among themselves, they purchased the 
ground and built the edifice which they now occupy 
on Madison Avenue, corner of Sixty-fourth Street. 

In 1879 they called Rev. J. F. Elder, from 
Orange, N. J., to become their pastor; and in 1882 
they assumed the name of the Baptist Church of the 
Epiphany. Doctor Elder resigned the pastorate 
May 12, 1890, but supplied the pulpit several 
months before leaving to accept the call of Calvary 
Baptist Church, Albany, N. Y., where he is an hon- 
ored and much-loved pastor. 



34 REMINISCENCES 

Doctor Elder was succeeded in the Church of 
the Epiphany by John T. Beckley, D. D., and on 
his retirement from the pastoral office, the church 
called its present highly efficient pastor, Rev. How- 
ard L. Jones. While their edifice was being built 
they worshiped in the church edifice in West Fifty- 
third Street, now the Mount Olivet Baptist Church. 
Its present membership (1898) is two hundred and 
sixty-five. May the Lord bless this grand old 
church, and make it a blessing from generation to 
generations yet unborn ! 



CHAPTER yil 

NORTH BERIAH AND SOUTH BAPTIST CHURCHES 

THE North Beriah Baptist Church (now the 
North Baptist Church) was organized in 1813. 
Its pastor, in 1835, was Rev. Duncan Dunbar, 
a typical Scottish Highlander. I do not know 
whether he spoke the Gaelic, but his speech was 
very different from that of the lowlands of Scot- 
land, and it never changed, although he lived most 
of his days in America, and had been a pastor in 
Boston and other Eastern cities. He was a large 
hearted man whom everybody loved and who loved 
everybody. His preaching was full of unction and 
largely experimental, a word much in vogue in those 
days. He fed his people on the word of God, and 
many strong men and gifted women were the fruit 
of his ministry. The church might well have been 
called a nursery for Christian workers, as many able 
teachers and preachers were raised up there. Mr. 
Dunbar was pastor of this church at two different 
times, between which he was pastor in South Boston 
and Philadelphia. The church Sunday-school was 
superintended by Mr. S. W. Seton, an Episcopalian. 
In 1859 the church assumed the name Macdougal 
Street Baptist Church, which it retained until quite 

35 



36 KEMINISCENCES 

recently, when it was merged into the North Baptist 
Church, now in West Eleventh Street. The church 
had many pastors after Mr. Dunbar, but their old 
meeting-house is still standing in Macdougal Street, 
opposite Van Dam Street, and presents the same 
general appearance that it did more than sixty years 
ago. The present number of members (1898) is 
three hundred and nine. 

South Baptist Church (now West Thirty-third 
Street). This church was organized in 1822. It 
was located on Nassau Street. Its pastor was Kev. 
Chas. G. Somers. The building in which the church 
worshiped is still standing on the east side of the 
street, between Fulton and John Streets, but has 
long since been turned into offices for business. Mr, 
Somers was born in England, but was educated in 
some part of Germany. He found much difficulty 
with the letter r, being obliged to substitute w in its 
place. This, however, was by no means unpleasant 
to his audiences. He had a deep-toned and very 
musical voice, which gave a peculiar charm to his 
speech. He was withal an earnest and impressive 
preacher, and a pleasing platform speaker. 

An old friend of the writer, who had been a mem- 
ber of the South Church, informed him that Mr. 
Somers, when a youth, was in the employ of John 
Jacob Astor, and that on one occasion Mr. Astor de- 
manded of him some secular services on the Lord's 
Day, which young Somers refused to render, giving 
as his reason, that on that day he served exclusively 



NORTH BERIAH AND SOUTH CHURCHES 37 

another Master. The same friend also informed me 
that the meeting-house in Nassau Street was built 
and owned by Mr. Somer^s father-in-law, Deacon 
Skelding, who desired to give him the title deed. 
Mr. Somers declined to accept the gift ; thereupon 
Deacon Skelding made the property over to the 
church, with the proviso that Mr. Somers should re- 
ceive therefrom a salary of one thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars yearly, so long as he remained 
their pastor. 

Somewhere about 1852 the church moved to a 
meeting-house located on the corner of Hammond 
(now West Eleventh) Street and Factory Street, and 
subsequently to the building corner of Eighth Ave- 
nue and Twenty-third Street. While there Doctor 
Somers retired from the pastorate. In 1856 the 
church purchased and moved into the meeting-house 
in Twenty-fifth Street, between Seventh and Eighth 
Avenues, and called Rev. A. H. Burlingham to be- 
come their pastor. Doctor Burlingham served the 
church successfully until 1865. Rev. John Dowling, 
D. D., and others, supplied the pulpit for a few 
months, after which Rev. Halsey W. Knapp was 
pastor for one year, and was succeeded by his bro- 
ther. Rev. S. J. Knapp. 

In 1872 Rev. M. G. Hodge became pastor. He 
was followed two years later by Rev. A. C. Osborne. 
Doctor Osborne resigned in 1874, and a few years 
later the church received into its fellowship the 
members of the Plymouth Baptist Church, which 



38 REMINISCENCES 

had been organized ten years before in West Fifty- 
fourth Street, and the pastor of that church, Rev. 
A. Stewart Walsh, became pastor of the South 
Church, which shortly after ceased to exist as an 
independent church, and was merged into the Pil- 
grim Baptist Church, located in West Thirty-third 
Street. This latter church grew out of the efforts 
of two brethren, James M. Peck and H. H. Salmon. 
These brethren hired a hall in Thirty-fourth Street, 
where they gathered a large Sunday-school, which 
served as a nucleus to the Pilgrim Church. Their 
first pastor was Rev. G. A. Peltz, who was followed 
by Rev. Halsey W. Knapp, and later by Rev. J. 
Spencer Kennard. Among those who helped to 
build up this church were brethren Wm. B. Waite, 
Calvin Stevens, R. G. Cornell, and many others, 
who have passed on to the better world. The 
church is now under the successful pastorate of 
Rev. Edwin S. HoUoway, with a present member- 
ship (1898) of three hundred and fifty-two. 



CHAPTER VIII 

STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 

THE Union (now Stanton Street) Baptist Church, 
was organized in 1823, assumed the name of 
the Stanton Street Baptist Church in 1834, and en- 
tered fully upon the prosperous career that has 
marked its history. 

The following account of its origin, taken from 
^^A History of the Stanton Street Church, by 
Charles B. Stout and his associate in the clerkship 
of the Church '' (Mr. Thomas J. Grout), will be 
found full of interest : 

In the latter part of the year 1823, a number of mem- 
bers in good standing in the Mulberry Street Church, 
New York, expressed a wish to be dismissed, for the pur- 
pose of constituting a new church in another part of the 
city. After considering their request, the following letter 
was granted them : 

To ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN : This is to Certify that 
the brethren and sisters whose names are hereunto 
affixed, are hereby regularly dismissed from the Baptist 
Church in Mulberry Street, New York, under the pas- 
toral care of Rev. Archibald Maclay, for the purpose of 
uniting together in the formation of a new and regular 
Baptist Church in the si.me city, and may the great 
Head of the Church crown their efforts with success and 
his rich and effective blessing, that they may be built on 



40 REMINISCENCES 

the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ 
being the chief corner-stone. 

Done by ordei- of the church. 

William Winterton, Church clerk. 
New York, September 23, 1823. 

John Hazlett, Michael Noe, 

Zilpah Hazlett, Elizabeth Noe, 

Jane Hazlett, Wm. B. Swift, 

Stephen Hyde, Charlotte Blakeley, 

Caroline Hyde, Catharine Clark, 

Frederick Pattillo, Mary Cheeseman, 

Catherine Pattillo, Hannah Ashford. 

Immediately on receiving this letter, these breth- 
ren and sisters procured a place to meet at 63 
Chrystie Street, then far up-town, and they had 
public worship the next Sunday, Brother John W. 
Gibbs being the preacher. It was resolved to en- 
gage Brother Gibbs at a salary of two hundred dol- 
lars per annum, but they subsequently voted fifty 
dollars additional. Shortly afterward a council 
assembled at the house of Brother Noe, to which 
the new church submitted their articles of faith and 
covenant. 

This council was composed of Revs. Archibald 
Maclay, Charles G. Somers, Johnson Chase, John 

Williams, and Smith. After due deliberation, 

the council resolved unanimously that these brethren 
and sisters should be recognized as a regular Baptist 
church, and the names of William S. Duzenbury 
and Ann Elgreen were added to the original number. 
The council then adjourned to the meeting-house, 



STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 41 

where a sermon was preached by Rev. Charles G. 
Somers, and the hand of fellowship was given by 
Rev. Archibald Maclay. The writer has a distinct 
recollection of all the persons mentioned above, ex- 
cept Rev. John Williams and Rev. Smith. 

On Lord's Day, November 2, Ann Hulse was 
proposed for baptism, and was the first believer 
baptized into the fellowship of the new church. It 
was soon ascertained that Brother Gibbs' salary was 
not sufficient for his support ; but the little church 
was unable to increase it, and therefore released him 
from his engagement, and voted to depend on such 
gratuitous supplies as they might be able to obtain. 
On April 16, 1824, the church voted a license to 
Deacon Noe to preach the gospel. 

About this time the church moved to the school- 
room over the watch-house in Eldridge Street, and 
the same year invited Rev. Samuel Eastman to be- 
come their pastor. The call was accepted, and Mr. 
Eastman entered on his pastoral labors in the 
summer of 1824. The same year the church voted 
unanimously, as usual, to connect itself with the 
Hudson River Baptist Association, in which fellow- 
ship it has always continued. The membership at 
this time only numbered twenty-four. 

After six years of faithful labor, during which 
he baptized one hundred and twenty-six persons, 
failing health compelled Mr. Eastman to resign the 
pastorate, and in the year 1831, the church, con- 
sisting then of one hundred and ten members, ex- 



42 KEMINISCENCES 

tended a call to Rev. George Benedict, of Danbury, 
Conn., to become its pastor. They could only 
offer five hundred dollars salary, but the call was 
accepted, and Mr. Benedict entered at once on 
what proved to be his life-work in New York 
City. He was a man full of faith, and richly en- 
dued with the Holy Spirit, and his faithful labors^ 
both in and out of the pulpit, were rewarded with 
an abundant harvest. The church was blessed under 
his ministry with a continual outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit and large accessions to its membership. 

In 1841 the church, whose house of worship was 
no longer large enough to accommodate the large 
congregations that assembled, sent out its first 
colony to establish a new church in Norfolk Street. 
Mr. Benedict elected to go with it, and there this 
devoted servant of God finished his earthly toil for 
the church on June 19, 1848, and on October 28 
of the same year he went to his eternal rest. 

It was during Mr. Benedict's pastorate, and 
largely the result of his strenuous efforts, that the 
house of worship in Stanton Street was erected. 
The church had for two years occupied the small 
wooden building which stood first on the southeast 
corner of Houston (then North) and Forsyth Street, 
but was moved afterward to the opposite side of 
Houston Street. Subsequently the church accepted 
the invitation of the Bethel Baptist Church, then 
worshiping on the corner of Chrystie and Delancy 
Streets, to meet with them until it could erect a 



REV. GEORGE BENEDICT. 



STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 43 

meeting-house. The first steps toward the building 
enterprise were taken at a church meeting held in 
December, 1822, and in June, 1823, the lots in Stan- 
ton Street were secured. The corner-stone was laid 
in August of the same year ; and on Sunday, March 
23, 1824, the church solemnly dedicated to God the 
meeting-house that was to be its sacred religious 
home for fifty years. 

After Mr. Benedict's resignation in 1841, the 
church was without a pastor for several months. It 
then extended a call to Rev. David Bellamy, of 
Ithaca, N. Y., and he entered upon his pastoral work 
in September, 1841. He remained five years, and 
baptized three hundred and nine converts, when he 
tendered his resignation, and shortly afterward ac- 
cepted the call of a small body of brethren who had 
withdrawn from the parent church and organized a 
congregation to be called the " Hope Chapel Con- 
gregation.'^ On Friday evening, November 27, 
1846, a committee was instructed to secure the Col- 
iseum, number 450 Broadway, for a place of wor- 
ship, and to invite Rev. David Bellamy to preach 
on the following Sabbath. On Sabbath evening, 
January 3, 1847, an invitation was given to all who 
were interested in Hope Chapel to remain, to con- 
sider the expediency of organizing an independent 
Baptist church. A large number remained, and it 
was unanimously resolved to take immediate meas- 
ures to form such an organization. Among the 
leaders at the time were W. D. Salisbury, B. S. 



44 KEMINISCENCES 

Squire, M. G. Lane, William E. Sibell, D. W. Man- 
waring, Henry Estwick, AVilliam Conklin, Abraham 
Fanning, and John Fanning. On Sunday evening, 
February 28, 1847, the organization was completed 
by the adoption of the following resolution : 

Resolved, That herein and hereby, by the adoption of 
this resolution, we constitute ourselves into an inde- 
pendent Baptist church, by the name of the Hope Chapel 
Baptist Church, in the city of New York. 

One hundred and seven names were attached to 
this resolution, of whom very fcAV, if any, are living. 
After about two years Mr. Bellamy's health failed, and 
he retired from pastoral work He was succeeded by 
John Dowling, d. d., who remained pastor until 
1852. Rev. A. D. Gillette was chosen as the suc- 
cessor of Doctor Dowling, and in 1852 the name of 
the church was changed to that of the Broadway Bap- 
tist Church. Doctor Gillette went with the church to 
West Twenty-third Street, between Fifth and Sixth 
Avenues, when the name was again changed to Cal- 
vary Baptist Church, which name it still retains. 

On the resignation of Doctor Gillette he was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. R. J. W. Buckland, and upon Doc- 
tor Buckland's resignation to accept a professorship 
in Rochester Theological Seminary, Calvary Church 
called, upon his graduation. Rev. Robert Stuart 
MacArthur, the noble man and able preacher who 
is still their leader and spiritual guide, and who, in 
1895, celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his 



STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 45 

pastorate, simultaneously with the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of the church. In 1883, the church removed 
from West Twenty-third Street into their present 
handsome and commodious church. West Fifty- 
seventh Street, where, on special occasions, come to- 
gether the largest assemblies ever gathered in a New 
York Baptist church since Elder Knapp preached 
in Mulberry Street, almost sixty years ago. 

The Stanton Street Church has been called 
^' Mother of Churches." How many children and 
grandchildren she can lay claim to I do not know, 
but it is safe to say that her two eldest daughters 
(Fifth Avenue and the Calvary churches), do no dis- 
credit to their parentage. After Mr. Bellamy's 
resignation, the church called Rev. Stephen Rem- 
ington, who (like Rev. Thos. Armitage, Rev. D. 
Henry Miller, and many others) began his Christian 
career as a Methodist. Mr. Remington served the 
church faithfully five years (baptizing two hundred 
and eleven persons), when he resigned to become 
pastor of a Baptist church in Philadelphia. The 
writer knew him well as a devoted Christian, an 
earnest and able preacher, and a most genial and 
companionable man. He went to his rest and his 
reward many years ago. 

The church then called their next pastor. Rev. 
Edward T. Hiscox, who is still living at the age of 
eighty-three years, and constantly engaged in liter- 
ary work, although not now a pastor. He served 
the Stanton Street Church thirteen years, and bap- 



46 REMINISCENCES 

tized two hundred and seventy-nine persons. Doc- 
tor Hiscox is a recognized authority on matters of 
Baptist polity, and has published many works of 
special interest to Baptist churches, notably "The 
Baptist Church Directory," a guide to the doctrines, 
discipline, officers, ordinances, and customs of Bap- 
tist churches, a new edition of which has been re- 
cently issued from the press of the American Bap- 
tist Publication Society. In 1866 Doctor Hiscox 
resigned the pastorate, and was succeeded by Rev. 
Christopher Rhodes, who remained eight years, and 
baptized one hundred and fifty-six persons. The 
church then called Rev. W. H. Leavell, Avho Avas 
succeeded by Rev. Samuel J. Knapp. About this 
time they decided to change their location to what 
was then called the upper part of the city. They 
worshiped first in Association Hall, in Twenty-third 
Street, then in the lecture room of Doctor Crosby's 
church, corner of Fourth Avenue and Twenty- 
second Street, and again in Association Hall. While 
there Pastor Knapp's health failed entirely, and he 
was compelled to resign. The church then called 
Rev. H. O. Hiscox (a son of Edward T. Hiscox, 
D. D.). Mr. Hiscox accepted the call and remained 
three years, during which he baptized thirty-four 
converts. It was during this pastorate that the 
church built the beautiful little house of worship 
on the corner of Twenty-third Street and Lexing- 
ton Avenue. Mr. Hiscox was followed by Rev. 
L. A. Crandall, d. d. The church was greatly 



STANTON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH 47 

strengthened during his ministry which continued 
over four years, in which time he baptized one hun- 
dred and twenty-one converts. 

Doctor Crandall resigned to become pastor of the 
Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio. 
Rev. Thomas Dixon was chosen to succeed Doctor 
Crandall. He was settled as pastor of the church 
in 1889, and remained six years, during which he 
baptized one hundred and eighty-eight persons. 
During his pastorate, the increase of the congrega- 
tions was so great that it became necessary to go 
back to Association Hall. After Mr. Dixon's res- 
ignation the church called their present pastor, 
Rev. Boardman B. Bosworth, and returned to their 
own house of worship on the corner of Twenty- 
third Street and Lexington Avenue. Mr. Bos- 
worth's devotion to his sacred calling soon won the 
hearts of his people, and his labor among them has 
been greatly blessed of God. 

In December, 1896, the church sold the property 
on Twenty-third Street for one hundred and ten 
thousand dollars, and on Lord's Day, February 27, 
1897, they held their last meeting on the old field, 
ending their work there by observing the ordinances 
of baptism and the Lord's Supper. 

Removing then to a hall in the United Charities 
Building, 105 East Twenty-second Street, they main- 
tained public worship there until March 26, 1897, 
when they removed to their present field on West 
One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street, under the 



48 REMINISCENCES 

corporate name of the Washington Heights Baptist 
Church. Thus cometh to an end what might be 
called Vol. I. of the history of the Stanton Street 
Baptist Church, a down-town church, which having 
borne the "banner of the cross'' under one regi- 
mental flag sixty-three years, now begins Vol. II. 
on a new field, in a new edifice, with new hopes and 
increased numerical strength, consisting in part of 
forty-three members received from the disbanded 
Grace Baptist Church. As Vol. I. will ever be 
precious as a gracious record of faithful labor 
crowned with abundant evidences of divine bless- 
ing, so may the record that Vol. II. shall bear, by 
the same divine favor, be made still more glorious. 
The present membership of the church (1898) is two 
hundred and fifty-two. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE NORTH BAPTIST CHURCH 

rpHE North Baptist Church, located on Chris- 
-L topher Street, corner of Bedford Street, was 
organized in 1827. Its pastors have been as fol- 
lows : Rev. J. W. Gibbs supplied the pulpit one 
year. The church then called Rev. Jacob H. Brou- 
ner, whose pastorate continued a little over twenty 
years, when he was suddenly called to his rest. He 
was a man of simple and kindly manners, and 
greatly beloved both for his own and his work^s 
sake. He labored faithfully and died ^^with the 
harness on.^' He was stricken in the pulpit on 
Sunday morning, September 9, 1848, and expired 
on the following Tuesday without recovering con- 
sciousness. After Mr. Brouner the church was 
served successively by Revs. A. C. Wheat, Aaron 
Jackson, and John Quincy Adams, who died in his 
study chair in the summer of 1881. 

Rev. Frank Remington, of whom it was said he 
had "gifts, grace, and gumption," was the next 
pastor. He was succeeded by Howard Osgood, 
D. D., a ripe scholar, now filling a professor's chair 
in Rochester Theological Seminary, an able preacher, 
a most genial man, and the readiest, most up-to-date 

D 49 



60 REMINISCENCES 

Sunday-school superintendent I ever knew. I saw 
him in that position in the Second Baptist Church, 
Rochester, N. Y., where only half an hour is given to 
the study of the lesson, and judge from Avhat I saw 
and heard. Perhaps some of my readers do not 
know that we are indebted to the Episcopalians for 
this able, sturdy, and always courteous Baptist, but 
such is the fact. 

Rev. A. Cleghorn was the next pastor. On en- 
tering his pastoral work he soon found himself con- 
fronted with a difficult problem, which, however, he 
met with courage, dealt with judiciously but firmly, 
and by the help of God, solved successfully. 

He found a strong Sunday-school organization 
claiming an independence of its own, separate from 
the church. To overthrow this vaunted independ- 
ence and to make the Sunday-school work part of 
the church work and subject to its control, was the 
task to which he bent the force and fearlessness of 
his strong character. He stirred up much opposi- 
tion, but the church stood nobly by him. Needed 
discipline was rigidly enforced, and thus where a 
weaker man might have failed, Mr. Cleghorn suc- 
ceeded. The relations of the Sunday-school to the 
church were finally adjusted. All honor to the man 
who brought it to pass ! 

Mr. Cleghorn was succeeded by Rev. John J. 
Brouner, who was called from his first pastorate of 
four years at Staten Island, to fill the pulpit so long 
occupied by his revered father. The church was 



THE NORTH BAPTIST CHURCH 51 

greatly blessed under the ministry of the son, as it 
had been under that of the father. A large congre- 
gation was gathered, outpourings of the Holy Spirit 
were frequent, and the church grew rapidly in lib- 
erality, influence, and numbers. 

On January 7, 1877, the pastor preached a jubilee 
sermon from Ps. 90 : 16, 17, a few extracts from 
which cannot fail to prove interesting : 

The site of the first meeting-house on Christopher 
Street was bought for three thousand five hundred dol- 
lars. The pastor, Elder Brouner, collected the greater 
part of the money and worked with his own hands on 
the building. At length the foundation was laid and the 
walls were raised, but before the roof could be put on the 
funds gave out, and it seemed that the work must cease. 
The walls were braced, and passers-by were reminded of 
the Scripture saying, ' ' This man began to build, but was 
not able to finish." . . More money was raised, the 
building was enclosed, and the eager flock entered the 
yet unfinished house with its unplastered walls. Tem- 
porary seats, made with pine slabs, were provided, and 
on November 14, 1836, the house was dedicated to the 
service and worship of God, Doctor Cone preaching in 
the morning and Doctor Maclay in the afternoon. 

Elder Jacob H. Brouner served as pastor twenty 
years and five months, during which time he bap- 
tized three hundred and thirty-four converts. Rev. 
John J. Brouner was then but nine years of age. 
Mr. Brouner remained pastor until he resigned to 
become secretary of the Baptist City Mission So- 
ciety. He left the church in an excellent condition. 



62 REMINISCENCES 

with a membership of three hundred and nine. A 
few most touching words from Mr. Brouner's semi- 
centennial sermon may fittingly complete my record 
of the North Baptist Church : 

I came to you, not as a stranger, but as your loved 
pastor's son, and as one whose manner of living from my 
youth up, was known to you. It was to the Sunday- 
school of this church that Christian parents led my in- 
fant steps. Here, in boyhood days, I listened to the 
preaching of God's word. Here, in my early youth, the 
Holy Spirit opened mine eyes. These walls echoed the 
first glad songs of my new-born love, as I rejoiced in the 
pardon of my sins. In the baptistery of this church I 
was baptized. In its pulpit I preached my first sermon. 
By your vote I was licensed to preach, and by your lib- 
erality I was educated. In this house I knelt to receive 
the laying-on of hands in ordination, and I only added 
another to the cords already strong, when I came home 
to be your pastor. And now, looking out for the future, 
while we thank God for all that is past, let us pray as did 
our fathers: ''Let thy work, O God, appear unto thy 
servants, and thy glory to their children, and let the 
beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the 
work of our hands upon us. Yea, the work of our hands, 
establish thou it." Amen. 



CHAPTER X 

THE AMITY *BAPTIST CHURCH 

THE Amity Baptist Church, first located in 
Amity Street, was formed of a colony from 
the Oliver Street Church, of which Rev. John Wil- 
liams, father of Dr. W. R. Williams, was pastor to 
the time of his death. The church was organized 
December 17, 1832, and on the same day Rev. W. 
R. Williams was ordained to the ministry and in- 
stalled as pastor. Dr. Francis Wayland preaching 
the sermon. Doctor Williams' pastorate continued 
from his installation until May 1, 1885, when at 
the age of eighty-one he was called to his heavenly 
rest. As preacher in Amity Street he soon gathered 
around him many persons of cultured intellect, who 
afterward became prominent in business and pro- 
fessional life. These people, who from change of 
residence or other cause, sometimes worshiped with 
other Baptist churches, never removed or took letters 
from their spiritual birthplace. 

While Doctor Williams' profound and accurate 
scholarship, his vast acquaintance with books, his 
seemingly unlimited knowledge of the world, his- 
tory, and literature, both sacred and secular, all of 
which was ever within reach of his phenomenal 

53 



54 REMINISCENCES 

memory, his fervent spirit and creative genius, his 
pure and elegant diction, would have attracted and 
delighted thousands of listeners, yet he was so limited 
by the feebleness of his voice, that his inimitable ser- 
mons were inaudible, except to a very limited con- 
gregation. Thus he, who under different conditions 
might have drawn audiences as large as the Cooper 
Union would hold, was obliged to confine his ministra- 
tions within the narrow limits of a small meeting- 
house, and while his writings had secured for him a 
world-wide fame, his friends and fellow-citizens at 
home could seldom enjoy his ministrations. Doctor 
Williams was modest and retiring, almost diffident 
in his manner, seldom making himself prominent in 
public meetings, almost never, unless called out from 
some corner in which he had quietly seated himself. 
Yet there were times when his spirit was so deep- 
ly stirred that he overcame for the time all his diffi- 
dence and physical weakness, and gave utterance to 
his thoughts in words that could be heard in a large 
assembly, and which could not be easily forgotten. 
The writer remembers one or two such occasions 
that seem worthy of record, even on the ground 
that occasional exceptions serve to give, by contrast, 
greater emphasis to one's general course and char- 
acter. The first instance of the kind that I re- 
member occurred in the Oliver Street meeting-house, 
at a meeting of the Baptist Missionary Union, where 
and when the policy of the foreign secretary (Rev. 
Doctor Peck) was fiercely and (as Doctor Williams 



THE AMITY BAPTIST CHURCH 55 

and many others thought) unjustly assailed by a 
number of delegates present. It was strongly sus- 
pected that the head and front of the secretary's 
offending was found, not so much in his administra- 
tion of the Society's affairs as in his neglect to treat 
with coveted deference the large number of callers 
(especially of ministerial) who felt themselves entitled 
to more consideration than he had time to bestow. 

Burning with indignation at this injustice, Doctor 
Williams mounted a seat in the middle of the au- 
dience room, and poured forth one of those wither- 
ing pieces of elegant sarcasm of which he was per- 
fect master. He pictured two courtiers riding 
together, engaged in friendly chat. One of them, 
entirely destitute of personal merit, and possessed 
of no marked ability, either as statesman or civilian, 
had nevertheless got to the front, and basked con- 
tinually in the sunshine of popular favor. His 
friend, well knowing the shallowness of which the 
popular man himself was not wholly unconscious, 
asked him how he managed to retain his popularity. 

^^ Oh,'' was the reply, " I have a large bill at my 
hatter's." " A large bill at your hatter's ? What 
has that to do with it?'' was the next query. "Just 
this. I always take off my hat to every man that 
looks at me on the street," was the reply. " J/r. 
3Ioderator,'^ said Doctor Williams, addressing the 
chair, and raising his voice to its utmost capacity, 
" Mr. Moderator, our secretary is a poor man. 
He can't afford to wear out so many hats." 



66 KEMINISCENCES 

The effect on the audience was electrical. Doc- 
tor Williams took his seat amid a great sensation, 
and the foreign secretary of the Missionary Union 
was re-elected without a dissenting voice. 

Doctor Williams was a man of study and reflec- 
tion, rather than of aggressive action, and certainly 
gave no evidence of a disposition to belligerency ; 
but he held a powerful lance, and if forced into a 
conflict, the above example will serve to show that 
he who would become his antagonist had better 
make sure of his position and stand well to his 
arms. 

Another instance occurs to my recollection, in 
which Doctor Williams' skillful use of sarcasm was 
very effective. It happened in the Old Tabernacle 
Church, in Mulberry Street. Some brethren had 
conceived the idea that it would be a good thing to 
unite all the Baptist churches in the city in one ex- 
clusive Association, and had called a public meeting 
for the purpose of getting their project popularly 
endorsed. 

As was natural, the discussion turned on the dan- 
ger to be apprehended from centralized power, which 
some thought not worth considering in comparison 
with the manifest advantages to accrue. 

Doctor Williams took a very different view, con- 
tending that such centralization of power was fraught 
with the direst evils. He contended that power so 
held was not only dangerous, but fatal to human 
liberty. He likened it to an untamable brute. 



THE AMITY BAPTIST CHURCH 57 

"Sir," said he, addressing the chairman of the meet- 
ing, "the hyena is neither to be tamed nor trusted. You 
may attempt to teach him better manners, but he is a 
hyena still, unchanged and unchangeable. Sir, you 
might even put him through a theological institution, 
and when he came out, I would not trust him by the 
grave of my grandfather." 

The project failed, and the meeting adjourned 
sine die. 

After Doctor Williams' death the church remained 
without a pastor until the latter part of January, 
1887, when it extended a call to Leighton Williams, 
Esq., the elder son of Dr. William R. Williams. 
Mr. Williams accepted the call, giving up a suc- 
cessful legal practice in order to do so, and the 
church at once called a council of churches to advise 
as to the propriety of ordaining him to the work of 
the gospel ministry. This council met on January 
28, 1887, and pursuant to its recommendation, Mr. 
Williams was ordained on Lord's Day, May 8, 1887, 
in the chapel of the church, Dr. H. L. Wayland 
preaching the sermon. 

Extensive and commodious buildings have been 
erected on lots long owned by the church on West 
Fifty-fourth Street, between Eighth and Ninth Ave- 
nues, where, in addition to the regular church work 
of preaching the gospel to adults and children, and 
striving to win souls for Christ, a large benevolent 
work is being prosecuted under the general super- 
intendence of the indefatigable pastor, in which he 



58 REMINISCENCES 

was largely and gratuitously aided by George W. 
Samson, d. d., until his death, and is still efficiently 
aided by his brother, Mornay Williams, Esq. In 
1897 the church reported a membership of one hun- 
dred and fifty-six. It withdrew from the Associ- 
ation previous to the session of 1898. 



CHAPTER XI 

SIXTEENTH BAPTIST CHURCH 

THIS church was organized in 1833, in West Six- 
teenth Street, between Seventh and Eighth 
Avenues. Before it was organized as a church, 
Brethren Samuel P. White, John Day, John Hal- 
stead, and a few others, held meetings in the house 
of Brother Day, 411 West Eighteenth Street. This 
soon became too small for their needs, and a frame 
building, twenty by fifty feet, was erected in Eigh- 
teenth Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. 
This could not have been done but for the self- 
sacrificing spirit of Deacon Halstead. He had a 
hardware store on Eighth Avenue, from which he 
furnished such building hardware as was required ; 
and when the builder notified him that the work 
must stop unless more money was forthcoming, his 
reply was, ^^ I have no money, but I have goods. 
Send your wagon up to my store and help your- 
selves." 

The present meeting-house was erected in 1833, 
and the first preacher to occupy its pulpit was Elder 
David Bernard, who served the church from Oc- 
tober, 1833, to May, 1834. He was followed by 
Rev. James L. Hodge, whose pastorate ended Jan- 

59 



60 EEMINISCENCES 

uary 24, 1835, when he resigned to accept the call 
of the First Baptist Church in Albany. Doctor 
Hodge is still living, but retired many years ago. 
After leaving Albany, he served successfully the 
First Church, Brooklyn, the First Church in East 
New York, and the Mariner's Temple Baptist 
Church of this city. He was an able preacher, tender 
and sympathetic. 

Doctor Hodge was followed in the Sixteenth 
Church by Rev. Jay S. Backus, who remained from 
September, 1839, to August, 1840. He was suc- 
ceeded a month later by Rev. Alonzo Wheelock, 
who served the church seven years. Doctor Wheel- 
ock was a controversialist, and published a discourse 
containing his views on sacrifice and atonement, con- 
tending that while the sacrifice which procured the 
atonement was made on the cross, the atonement 
was made in heaven. His views were challenged 
and ably replied to by Mrs. A. C. Putnam, a mem- 
ber of the Macdougal Street Baptist Church. 

The next pastor was Rev. Joseph W. Taggart^ 
who served the church nine years, and was followed 
by Rev. William S. Mikels in a pastorate of sixteen 
years. Rev. David B. Jutten was the next pastor. 
He served ten years, and then resigned to accept a 
call from a church in Boston. The next pastor was 
Rev. Matthew H. Pogson, who is now the secretary 
and manager of the " Baptist Ministers' Home " at 
West Farms. Rev. A. W. Hodder, the present 
pastor, entered on his pastorate in 1892. His sue- 



SIXTEENTH BAPTIST CHURCH 61 

cess as a pastor and a leader in the " Christian En- 
deavor ^' work is well known. 

Broome Street Baptist Church. A Baptist church 
in Broome Street, a few blocks from the East River, 
was incorporated May 6, 1834, under the name of 
the Broome Street Baptist Church. On October 30, 
1834, its name was changed to the East Baptist 
Church, and on October 31, 1838, it adopted the 
name of the East Broome Street Baptist Church. On 
August 10, 1840, a new house of worship in Can- 
non Street having been erected, the corporate name 
was again changed, and that of the Cannon Street 
Baptist Church was taken. The pastors that I 
remember as settled in these several churches, or 
one church with several names, were Revs. Zelotes 
Grenell, Joseph Barnard, D. d., Henry Davis, D. D., 
H. J. Eddy, d. d., and Wm. Pendleton, d. d. It 
w^as during Mr. GrenelPs pastorate, and largely 
through his efforts, that the new house in Cannon 
Street was completed. 

Mr. Grenell had received neither a classical nor 
a theological education, except as he obtained the 
latter from the Bible, and I have heard him say 
that he laid many a rod of stone wall after he was 
ordained to the work of the ministry ; yet it will 
readily be conceded by those who have heard him, 
that in his day there were few abler preachers than 
he. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 

THE Tabernacle Baptist Church had its first 
home in Mulberry Street, near Chatham. 
The following are the circumstances that in 1839 
led to its organization as a new church : 

The meeting-house was encumbered w^ith a mort- 
gage of eleven thousand dollars, and liable to fore- 
closure. It was understood that the Roman Catho- 
lics stood ready to purchase it for a church of their 
own faith, when, at the earnest suggestion of Dea- 
con William Colgate, the Oliver Street Church made 
overtures to the brethren in Mulberry Street, which 
resulted in an amicable arrangement. The condi- 
tions of this were that the former church should pay 
the mortgage and become owner of the property. 
The Oliver Street Church then appropriated an ad- 
ditional thousand dollars to put the building in 
thorough repair and make it attractive for public 
worship. They appointed a committee to shape and 
carry out its plan, and also to conduct religious serv- 
ices in the renovated house when the contemplated 
improvements should be completed. The committee 
consisted of deacons William Colgate, Joshua Gil- 
bert, Eliakim Raymond, William D. Murphy, and 
62 



THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 63 

several others. A re-union had already been 
brought about between the West Baptist Church 
(until then under the pastoral care of Rev. John 
Dowling) and the parent body in Mulberry Street. 
In the meantime the appropriation of one thousand 
dollars had been so judiciously and tastefully ex- 
pended that the renovated meeting-house might well 
have been pronounced ^^A thing of beauty," but 
alas ! not '^ a joy forever." 

Other Baptist churches — being without meeting- 
houses or without pastors — were invited to cast in 
their lot with the new enterprise, and the Tabernacle 
Baptist Church was successfully launched on a long 
career of usefulness. Would that it had proved a 
perpetual one, but alas ! The committee then in- 
vited Rev. Beniah Hoe, formerly of England, to 
become the preacher for nine months, or until the 
new church should have time to elect its own pastor. 
This matter of choosing a pastor was the cause of 
some little feeling for a while. Some of the most 
influential of the committee wished to retain Rev. 
B. Hoe, while many of the former members of the 
West Church (which was now a majority of the 
whole) desired to call their old pastor. Doctor Dow- 
ling. Happily, this feeling soon subsided, and the 
church cordially united in calling Rev. William W. 
Everts, who was then within a month of graduating 
at Hamilton. 

Several able preachers supplied the pulpit while 
the youthful pastor-elect went back to his Alma 



64 REMINISCENCES 

Mater for graduation, and when he entered fully 
upon his ministry all hearts turned warmly to him. 
A little prior to this time Elder Jacob Knapp had 
inaugurated, in the city of Baltimore, that aston- 
ishing series of evangelistic meetings which, being 
crowned by divine power, were followed by such 
large ingatherings of souls that the report of them 
flashed like electricity, not only over the city in 
which they occurred, but over the entire country. 
Deacon \yilliam Colgate, of the Tabernacle Church, 
had been present at some of these meetings, and was 
so impressed with the manifestations of the divine 
presence that, at his suggestion, the Tabernacle 
Church sent an invitation to Elder Knapp to spend 
a few weeks with it in holding similar meetings. 

After Elder Knapp had spent some weeks in Al- 
bany, the invitation was accepted, and a series of 
meetings followed, which lasted nine consecutive 
weeks, and were truly wonderful for the manifesta- 
tion of the divine presence and power. Hundreds 
upon hundreds were converted and baptized into the 
fellowship of the church, while hundreds more united 
with other churches. True, there were " many ad- 
versaries,'' and also many deliverances, for Satan 
seemed to " come down with great power,'' as if " be- 
lieving he had but a short time " ; but God shielded 
and protected his faithful, fearless servant here, as 
he had done elsewhere, so that not a single weapon 
which was formed against him — and there were 
many — was suffered to prosper. 



THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 65 

Not a single shaft can hit, 
Till the God of love sees fit. 

It would be extremely difficult to describe Elder 
Knapp as a preacher, yet, in some respects at least, 
it is safe to say we have not seen his counterpart. 
While his dark-browed countenance bore an aspect 
of severity, it could not fail to impress the careful 
observer with the fact that it also expressed the true 
dignity of one who is conscious that he bears a mes- 
sage from God. As a reasoner, he was candid and 
sincere, and if his manner was sometimes almost 
savage, his logic was irresistible to a candid mind. 
He dealt his blows against all sin and all infidelity 
as with a sledge-hammer. His pet antagonism was 
Universalism, and so destructive were the strokes 
he aimed at it, that the bold Universalism of that 
day seems nowhere to be found. Restorationists 
there are, and they are numerous ; but Universalists 
of the Hosea Ballon type do not exist among rea- 
soning men. It will be said that ^^ Elder Knapp 
sometimes used rough language and was not at all 
polite. He stirred up a bitter hatred in the breasts 
of many who went every night to hear him.'^ True ; 
but still they went, and he boldly defied them to 
stay away. He knew that they went for chaif, not 
wheat, and he always had a bag of it with which to 
supply them. Peradventure, they might occasion- 
ally receive a grain of wheat. 

Again, it was objected that, " Instead of being 
always grave and sedate, as becomes a minister of 



66 REMINISCENCES 

the gospel, he made his audience laugh/' This is 
also true. The elder had the ability to make the 
entire congregation laugh whenever he pleased ; but 
he never exercised the gift except for a purpose, 
which he immediately made to appear, and always 
checked the demonstration wlien the object was 
gained. Some of his modern imitators can evoke 
laughter, and keep their congregations in a titter 
through half their discourses ; but Elder Knapp 
could do what few can do. He could raise a finger 
and the entire congregation would be as quiet as the 
grave, while he made the application he desired. 

The winter of 1840, when these meetings were 
held, was the third of those disastrous years which 
commenced with 1837. All earthly supports seemed 
to have given way, and many persons who in sea- 
sons of worldly prosperity might have gone on, 
Gallio-like, " caring for none of these things,'' now 
had their hearts solemnized and their thoughts di- 
rected to the worth of their souls. This, and the 
general lack of employment, doubtless contributed to 
increase the religious congregations, not only in 
Mulberry Street, but all over our city, and indeed 
throughout the land. It Avas in Mulberry Street, 
however, that the interest of our city churches cen- 
tered, and as this was the church-home of the writer, 
he w^as able to attend every meeting, and thus re- 
cords what he saw and heard. 

Every week large numbers were immersed either 
in the baptistery or frequently in the Hudson River, 



THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 67 

near the New Jersey shore. Elder Knapp always 
assisted the pastor in the administration. Some of the 
newspapers of the day, conspicuously the ^^New York 
Herald," which was not the respectable sheet it is 
to-day, took delight in holding these immersions up 
to ridicule, often publishing caricatures of the sub- 
jects and the administrators. All this advertised 
the Tabernacle meetings, increased the congrega- 
tion, and promoted, rather than hindered, the glori- 
ous work that was being carried on, showing how 
abundantly God can " cause the wrath of man to 
praise him." 

Not less interesting were the occasions on which 
those who had been baptized were publicly received 
into the church. At such times the persons to 
whom the hand of fellowship was to be extended, 
were at the entrance of the pews on each side of 
every aisle of the church edifice, from wall to wall, 
a sight not to be forgotten. People cried, " Won- 
derful excitement ! " " They are frightened into 
religion ! " ^' How long will they hold out ? " 
Doubtless there was some chaff with the wheat. 
Some stony ground and some wayside hearers are 
found among those supposed genuine converts gath- 
ered into the most careful and conservative churches 
and in seasons that none would think of calling " times 
of excitement." Doubtless there were some self- 
deceived persons brought into the Tabernacle Church 
during this great and blessed revival of religion — 
perhaps even hypocrites ; but those who were mem- 



68 REMINISCENCES 

bers of or familiar with the subsequent history of 
that church, as the writer was from 1839 to 1851, 
can testify not only to the general good deportment 
of those remaining in the city, but also to continual 
reports that came from all parts of our land of Sun- 
day-schools started and churches founded by those 
who were converted in the Tabernacle Church 
during the great revival. 

To continue the history of the church. The 
youthful pastor, Mr. Everts, was constantly de- 
nouncing every form of evil, not only intemperance, 
rumselling, and other sins known to exist among 
us, but especially the sin of slaveholding, with 
which many influential members of the church 
thought, " We of the North have nothing to do." 
The relations between these and the pastor became 
more and more strained and uncomfortable, until 
about the close of 1842 or the beginning of 1843, 
when the latter resigned his pastorate and took 
charge of the newly organized church in Laight 
Street, corner of Varick. He occupied the same 
meeting-house in which Rev. Hanson S. Cox had 
preached, and from which he had uttered such phil- 
ippics against the whole slaveholding system as 
caused him to be mobbed and literally driven from 
the city. This edifice had been purchased for Bap- 
tist uses mainly through the efforts of Mr. Everts 
while he remained in Mulberry Street. 

A year or two after Mr. Everts^ resignation had 
been accepted, the Tabernacle Church extended a 



THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 69 

call to Eev. Edward Lathrop, of Beaufort, S. C, 
where he had been assistant or associate pastor with 
the eloquent and popular Richard Fuller, d. d. 
The call was accepted, and Mr. Lathrop entered 
upon his pastorate January 1, 1844. A few years 
older than Mr. Everts had been when the latter 
entered upon pastoral work, Mr. Lathrop brought 
with him some years of experience, and although of 
warm temperament, he was less impulsive than his 
youthful predecessor. A Southerner by birth and 
education, slavery and slaveholding could never 
look to him as they had appeared to Mr. Everts. 
He had therefore little or nothing to say in his 
pulpit about the "peculiar institutions'^ of the 
South. He devoted himself assiduously to his work 
as preacher and pastor, and soon made himself be- 
loved by the church and congregation. Shortly 
after his coming to the city his work was inter- 
rupted by a severe illness, and for a long time his 
life was despaired of. When sufficiently recovered 
to be removed, he went to Massachusetts to recu- 
perate, but it was many months before he returned to 
his pulpit. Meantime, the pastoral duties of the 
church were faithfully performed by Rev. George 
Hatt, a godly man, whose ministrations are held in 
grateful remembrance by the older members of our 
city churches. 

Dr. Lathrop's ministry continued in Mulberry 
Street until December, 1850, when the church re- 
moved to the beautiful new edifice — sadly marred 



70 REMINISCENCES 

since then by alterations and additions — in Second 
Avenue, between Tenth and Eleventh Streets. 

The dedicatory sermon was preached by the 
pastor, December 22, 1850, from Acts 8 : 5-8. 
Subject, "Cities in their Relation to the World^s 
Evangelization.^' It was an interesting and very 
able discourse, to which the writer listened with 
great pleasure. 

Perhaps it is not proper to write of the preaching 
of one who is yet with us ; if it is, that of Doctor 
Lathrop should be described as marked by two char- 
acteristics — its uniformly evangelical character and 
its clearness of statement, which made his subject as 
plain to the attentive listener as it was in his own 
mind. Doctor Lathrop served the church faithfully 
and Avith great acceptance for twenty-six years, six 
of them in Mulberry Street and twenty in Second 
Avenue. Finding that the care of a large city 
church was seriously impairing his health, he re- 
signed to become pastor of the First Baptist Church 
of Stamford, Conn. With this church he closed his 
public ministry in 1886, and soon afterward came 
to reside in this city. Complete relief from public 
duties and abundant leisure seem to have caused 
a renewal of youth. May his genial presence long 
abide with us. 

After Doctor Lathrop' s resignation, the pulpit of 
the Tabernacle Church was supplied for six months 
by J. S. Holme, d. d. The next pastor was J. R. 
Kendrick, D. D., who was followed by Rev. Doc- 



THE TABERNACLE CHURCH 71 

tors Wayland Hoyt, Robert B. Hull, and Daniel C. 
Potter. The church edifice and other property for- 
merly held by the church, is now in possession of 
the City Baptist Mission Society, by virtue of a fore- 
closure of a mortgage thereon. Doctor Potter, and 
such of the church and congregation as affiliate with 
him, meet elsewhere.^ A new church has just been 
planted in the old field, and is greatly prospering 
under the pastoral care of Rev. J. A. Francis, for- 
merly pastor of the Riverside Church. 

The writer's membership in the Tabernacle 
Church ceased with his letter of dismissal to unite 
with the Norfolk Street Baptist Church, where he 
received the hand of fellowship on the first Sunday 
in July, 1851. In 1897 the Tabernacle Church 
reported a membership of four hundred and thirty- 
three persons. In 1898 it ceased to be a member 
of the Association. 

^ Doctor Potter and the Tabernacle Church ceased to be- 
long to the Southern New York Association before the close 
of the session of 1898. 



CHAPTER XIII 

THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 

(now fifth avenue) 

IT has already been noted that in 1841 three hun- 
dred and twenty-one members of the Stanton 
Street Church, under the leadership of their pastor, 
Rev. George Benedict, took letters of dismission to 
form a new Baptist church in Norfolk Street. On 
February 15, of the same year, a council of dele- 
gates from sister churches publicly recognized these 
brethren and sisters as a regular Baptist church, in 
a series of exercises in which the moderator of the 
council, Rev. Spencer H. Cone, preached from Rev. 
2 : 2, "The seven golden candlesticks." Rev. Silas 
Illsley, then pastor of the First Baptist Church, 
Brooklyn, extended the hand of fellowship to the 
new church, and Rev. Charles G. Somers gave the 
charge and the hand of fellowship to the pastor. 
The new church purchased the meeting-house then 
standing on the corner of Broome and Norfolk 
Streets, formerly occupied by a congregation under 
the care of Elder Isaac N. AA^alter, known as the 
Christian Church, for the sum of twelve thousand 
dollars, and assumed the name of the Norfolk Street 
Baptist Church. 

72 



THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 73 

The same rich showers of divine blessing that 
distinguished Mr. Benedict's ministry in Stanton 
Street continued with him on his new field of labor, 
and from 1841 to 1846 there were few months that 
did not bring accessions to the church. In that 
year, however, his health began to decline, and a 
little more than a year later it became evident to all 
that this devoted servant of God had well-nigh fin- 
ished his earthly course. A season of rest had been 
tried in vain, and the best medical skill proved 
equally unavailing to recuperate his exhausted 
strength. Under these circumstances it became evi- 
dent that the beloved pastor must immediately be 
relieved of all active labor, and that it would soon 
become imperative to choose a successor. 

The following extracts relating to the closing 
events in Mr. Benedict's life and his own call to 
become his successor are from Doctor Armitage's 
history of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church: 

On June 12, 1848, a new trial was added in the loss of 
the meeting-house by fire. These thickening troubles 
seemed for a time not only to threaten but to overwhelm 
both the pastor and the church. Finally, after much 
prayer, and the persuasion that his work was ended and 
his life must soon close, he reached the conclusion (alike 
sad to himself and to his flock) that duty called him to 
retire from the pastorate. The church meeting held 
June 19, 1848, was the last at which he was present to 
preside over and otherwise aid the church in its delibera- 
tions. . . His flock loved and revered him as a father, 
for most of them had been brought to Christ under his 



74 REMINISCENCES 

ministry ; they had seen the meekness and fortitude with 
which he had borne his trials and suffering, and they felt 
much as we suppose the Ephesian believers felt when the 
Apostle Paul notified them that " they would see his face 
no more. ' ' 

Under these circumstances the affectionate but en- 
feebled pastor pressed upon his people the necessity of 
relieving him from all furtiier service and care ; exhorted 
them to new courage, notwithstanding the sorrows that 
had overtaken them, and with tears urged upon them 
the necessity of unity among themselves, and the imme- 
diate settlement of some irritating difficulties then exist- 
ing in the body. Then he tendered his resignation as 
pastor, earnestly urging its acceptance with entire una- 
nimity on their part, and begging that he might be al- 
lowed to name his successor. 

After careful consideration and lengthened con- 
ference his devout wish to be released from labor 
was unanimously acceded to, and his successor was 
at the same time unanimously chosen to stand in his 
place. This noble servant of God then retired to 
his home to die, full of hope, full of light, and full 
of love. Patiently and in great suffering he awaited 
the coming of his Lord, and on October 28, 1848, 
the faithful ambassador fell asleep in Jesus. His 
remains rest in Greenwood, and there are many per- 
sons in our churches in this vicinity who justly hold 
his memory in tender sacredness to this day. 

On June 20, 1848, Hon. George H. Andrews, as 
chairman of a committee appointed by the church to 
inform the pastor-elect of its action, submitted a 
unanimous call to Rev. Thomas Armitage, of Albany, 



THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 75 

N. Y., which was promptly accepted. In all likeli- 
hood this invitation would have been as promptly 
declined but for the appeal which Mr. Benedict 
made to him shortly before, to the effect that if the 
call were declined he should regard the declination 
as most painful to himself, for he had seen no one 
else to whose care he desired to leave his sacred 
charge. This appeal, enforced by the advice of 
Dr. B. T. Welch, of Albany, and the consideration 
that the church was in deep distress and in a sense 
homeless, decided the matter. 

The call was accepted on the following terms : 

First. That the salary of the pastor was to be twelve 
hundred dollars per annum. 

Second. That the engagement was for one year. 

Third. That the connection should not be dissolved 
at the expiration of one year, or at any time thereafter, 
by either party, without giving the other three months' 
notice. 

The new pastor of the Norfolk Street Church 
entered upon his work July 1, 1848. 



CHAPTER XIV 

REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 

AS Rev. Thomas Armitage has been destined to 
occupy a prominent place, both as a preacher 
and a leader among our people, a brief recital of 
some of the salient points in his early life, as learned 
from himself by the writer, who had intimate official 
relations with him for more than forty years, may 
perhaps be admissible. 

Thomas Armitage was born in England, in the 
county of Yorkshire, in 1819. When twelve years 
of age he gave his heart to God in a AYesleyan 
Methodist church. When he was fifteen years old, 
in accordance with a custom then prevalent in Meth- 
odist churches in England, he was sent in company 
with some mature and experienced brother to vari- 
ous Methodist out-stations, to exercise his gifts in 
public speaking. These gifts were soon found to be 
such that he was encouraged to use them freely as 
opportunity oifered. 

At an early age God directed his course to this 
country, which proved to be the theatre of his life- 
work. Shortly after his arrival in this city a gen- 
tleman having great influence in the Protestant 
Episcopal Church became so impressed with the 




THOMAS ARMITAGE, D. D. 



REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 77 

ability of the young Englishman that he offered 
him a scholarship in an Episcopal college, on condi- 
tion that when he graduated he should take orders 
in the Episcopal Church. Perhaps no young man 
would have been more glad than Thomas Armitage 
to obtain in early life such a liberal education as 
might have helped him to attain more readily that 
ripe scholarship which his heart was set upon 
achieving. But this was too high a price to pay. 
He was then, and for many years thereafter, a 
Methodist from conviction, and no proffered ad- 
vancement or personal emolument could outweigh 
this conviction. 

Not long afterward he was ordained a Methodist 
preacher, and after serving several other churches 
in New York State, was settled over a church in the 
city of Albany. It was here that he began to have 
doubts as to the scriptural authority for infant bap- 
tism. He had a child of the proper age to be 
christened, according to the usage of the Methodist 
Church, and one of his elders suggested the pro- 
priety of its being done at once. The father hesi- 
tated, but diligently pursued his investigation of the 
Scriptures, with the result that he became convinced 
not only that an unconscious infant is not a proper 
subject for baptism, but that he himself had never 
been baptized. With this conviction he at once sur- 
rendered his credentials as a Methodist minister into 
the hands of the constituted authorities, and received 
baptism at the hands of Kev. Bartholomew T. Welch, 



78 REMINISCENCES 

then pastor of the Pearl Street Church, Albany, N. 
Y. Shortly afterward he received and accepted a 
call to become pastor of the Norfolk Street Baptist 
Church, in New York, as already stated. 

From its organization the Norfolk Street Church 
had been known as a working church. Doctor Ar- 
mitage's labors, like those of his predecessor, Mr. 
Benedict, were arduous and unremitting, and his 
natural eloquence attracted and held large audiences. 
The deacons and private members were indefatigable 
in what they understood to be their respective de- 
partments — the former in visiting the sick and car- 
ing for the poor, the latter in Sunday-school in- 
struction and other work for building up the church 
and congregation. 

But there was another movement in progress 
which at first, either from its novelty or its supposed 
impracticability, found little favor; yet "a little 
leaven" in time "leavens the whole lump." Among 
the recent accessions from other churches was one 
who had long entertained the conviction that our 
Lord's command to preach the gospel, was not, and 
was never intended to be, limited to a particular 
order of men set apart that they should make the 
ministry of Christ their life-work. For these ordi- 
nation by the churches seems proper and convenient, 
though not indispensable. But in addition to these 
the Great Commission was both an authorization and 
a solemn injunction, it was said, from the Head of 
the church to every one of his disciples, to preach 



REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 79 

his word to the full extent of his ability and oppor- 
tunity. Consequently every Christian man is sol- 
emnly bound, alike by his duty to God and his rela- 
tions to man, to give himself to this work within 
these limits. 

Tlie new-comer did not hesitate to ventilate his 
opinions, or fail to insist that these views were not 
new to Baptists; that as far back as 1848, when the 
Hudson River Baptist Association met in Laight 
Street, Rev. C. G. Somers, moderator, the subject 
and importance of lay-preaching was introduced, 
and received the approval and endorsement of such 
honored brethren as Rev. Wm. W. Everts, then pas- 
tor of the church, Rev. Chas. G. Somers, Rev. Jacob 
H. Brouner, and other influential members of the 
Association; that the same subject was frequently 
mooted at subsequent meetings of the Hudson River 
and New York Baptist Associations, and always met 
with approval. This agitation continued until 1862, 
when the New York Baptist Association, meeting 
that year at East Marion, L. I., resolved unani- 
mously to issue the address, a full copy of which is 
in the hands of the writer, from which the following 
excerpts are given: 

The New York Baptist Association to the pastors and 
churches within our Associational limits. 

Dear Brethren. We ask your serious and earnest at- 
tention to the following resolutions offered at our seventy- 
first anniversary, and unanimously adopted : 

Resolved. First, That as a means of supplying the lack 



80 REMINISCENCES 

of religious instruction and regular preaching of the 
word, found to exist in various parts of the field which 
we as Christians and Baptists are called upon to culti- 
vate, and in view of the present inability of our Associa- 
tion, or the people within such destitue parts whom it 
seeks to evangelize, to sustain a regular ministry, we deem 
it expedient and desirable to revive and encourage lay- 
preaching within our Associational limits. 

Resolved. Second, That pastors and churches be and 
hereby are, requested to seek out from among their num- 
bers, brethren possessing suitable gifts, and invite and en- 
courage them to devote a part of their time to this work, 
without abandoning their respective secular callings. 

The Association is deeply impressed with" a sense of 
the following facts : 

First. That it is the duty of every believer to do all 
in his power to extend the knowledge and influence of 
the gospel. 

Second. That in addition to the regular ministry there 
are very many members of our churches qualified, or 
capable of becoming qualified, to proclaim the gospel to 
public assemblies. 

Third. That the number of destitute places where 
such gifts could appropriately be exercised, is far greater, 
especially in the vicinity of large cities, than is generally 
imagined. 

Fourth. When, under the blessing of God, such laborers 
arise, such destitute places as are accessible should be 
statedly occupied by them. . . While these means are 
being used to develop the latent talent that is to be found 
in all our churches, there will doubtless be found some 
whose duty to devote themselves wholly to the work of 
the gospel ministry will prove unmistakable, and thus 
the regular ministry will be reinforced ; but this will be 
only an incidental, though happy result. The main ob- 
ject should be to develop the gifts of the private members 



REV. THOMAS ARMITAGE 81 

of our churches in harmony with the aspirations of him 
who said: ** Would that all the Lord's people were 
prophets." 

After emphasizing the duty of all to whom God 
has given the ability to ^^ preach the word ^^ as he 
has opportunity, the address concludes with a few 
words of caution, as follows : 

While a layman may, and ought to, preach the gospel 
to the above extent, it would be a dangerous mistake to 
suppose such preaching to be incompatible with the ut- 
most diligence in any legitimate employment. For while 
we cannot have too many preachers, provided always 
they preach the truth, we may have too few merchants, 
mechanics, and farmers, and hence we venture to sug- 
gest, finally, that while the fullest encouragement should 
be given for all to labor in the Lord's vineyard, the 
churches can scarcely be too cautious in advising a per- 
son to abandon an honest worldly calling in which he is 
useful, for the work of a pastor. In no case should the 
idea be permitted to obtain, that the sanction given by a 
church to its members to preach the gospel, according to 
the spirit of the above resolutions, is to be regarded as a 
stepping-stone to ordination, or to any other mode of in- 
duction into the ministerial office. 

The above copious extracts are inserted here be- 
cause the writer believes that the principles they 
embody are as scriptural, as practical, as important, 
and as worthy of the consideration of all our churches 
to-day as they ever were, and will continue to be so 
until the last human soul is won to Christ. 



CHAPTER Xy 

THE BAPTIST LAY-PREACHING ASSOCIATION 

LAY-PREACHERS Association, would seem 
more proper; but as many brethren who 
sympathized with the object and were willing to 
support it, were not willing to attempt preaching, 
the above name was adopted. As the result of fre- 
quent interchanges of opinion between members of 
different Baptist churches who held like opinions, a 
meeting was called at the house of Mr. George W. 
Hillman, to consider what action should be taken ; 
and after prayerful deliberation, it was resolved to 
form a society with the above name and purpose. 
All present signed their names to the resolution, 
and very soon the Baptist Lay-preaching Association 
included in its membership the well-known names 
of Hon. George H. Andrews, Hon. William D. 
Murphy, Deacons William Phelps, Samuel T. Hill- 
man, John W. Stevens, Roger H. Lyon, Esq., Ed- 
win F. Hatfield, Henry Angell, A. D. Chadsey, 
M. D., Charles T. Goodwin, John C. Baxter, Benja- 
min F. Judson, and many others, including the 
writer. The Norfolk Street Church now entered 
heartily into the work. Preaching stations were 
sought for and established on Third Avenue, in 



THE BAPTIST LAY-PREACHING ASSOCIATION 83 

Glass Hall, East Thirty-fourth Street, on the east 
side of the city, and on the west side, as far over as 
Eleventh Avenue and Eighty-first Street. To each 
of these stations went two brethren every Sunday 
afternoon, to preach Christ crucified, the only hope 
of lost sinners. Besides these distant stations, 
meetings were held every Sunday afternoon in a 
public hall on Broome Street near Elizabeth Street, 
and there also went two members of the Association 
every week, one of whom was expected to preach a 
short sermon from some portion of the word of God, 
the other to supplement, if he could do so, in the 
same line of thought, or to assist in some other way. 
These meetings were always well attended, and thus 
multitudes listened to the gospel from the lips of 
laymen, who rarely, if ever, entered an evangelical 
church. 

Were these lay-preachers licensed to preach by 
their respective churches? As a rule, they were 
not. Some of them had, in fact, received such license 
prior to the formation of the Association, and perhaps 
two or three others were formally licensed afterward ; 
but the majority Avould have declined a license for 
two reasons : First, because as each had his own 
business on which to rely, they neither asked nor 
accepted pecuniary compensation, except to pay 
traveling expenses, to purchase a book to aid them 
in their preparations, or to apply to some charitable 
purpose directly in the line of their work. Whereas, 
a licentiate, as a rule, expects, and very properly 



84 REMINISCENCES 

expects, to be paid for his ministrations by the 
church or party calling for his services. Second, 
these lay-preachers would not ask a license to 
preach, because to do so would be to concede to the 
church applied to the right to forbid, a right which 
they have always felt assured no Baptist church 
would claim or exercise, so long, at least, as the 
preachers sustained a good moral character and 
preached nothing but the truth. 

Moreover, the brethren composing the Lay- 
preaching Association believed that much evil had 
come to our churches and the cause of Christ by 
licensing young men to preach the gospel before their 
ability to preach had been sufficiently tested. A young 
man, ardent, devoted, rejoicing in the assurance that 
his sins are freely pardoned, is full of zeal, and de- 
sires most sincerely to do something effective in the 
service of his Saviour, and he asks, "What is so 
effective as to give one's self to the gospel ministry ? " 
Thus impressed, he asks and receives a license to 
preach. But preaching is not so easy as he thought 
it would be. He might have become an excellent 
mechanic, a good farmer, or a prosperous merchant, 
and have done good work for his Lord and for the 
church, perhaps, in either department ; but with the 
aid of the church that gave him a license, he has 
closed those doors of honorable labor on himself. 
He has given himself to the work of the gospel 
ministry, and dares not draw back. Results : He is 
always looking for a " field,'' or some poor church 



THE BAPTIST LAY-PREACHING ASSOCIATION 85 

gets a poor preacher, and both the church and the 
world suffer loss. 

Now would it not have been better to allow him 
to preach without the formality of a license, until he 
should have learned for himself whether people 
wanted to hear him ? If he found they did not, he 
could retire from the work, a little chagrined, per- 
haps, but without a sense of dishonor. If the people 
did want him it would be time enough to license and 
ordain him on the same day. 

But some may ask, what became of the Lay- 
preaching Association ? Answer : When the Bap- 
tist City Mission was organized to be the " working 
arm^^ of the Southern New York Baptist Association, 
it took the place of the Baptist Sunday-school Union, 
which latter had always fraternized with the lay 
preachers, and gladly availed itself of their unpaid 
labors. The new society thought it best to appoint 
only ordained ministers at its mission stations, each 
with a stipulated salary. On learning of this de- 
cision, the lay preachers, seeing no further need 
for their existence as an organization, discontinued 
their weekly meetings, and virtually disbanded. 

But did the individual members give up preach- 
ing? By no means. Death has greatly depleted 
their numbers ; age and infirmity have overtaken 
some of those who are left ; but their convictions 
are unchanged, and those who are yet able are as 
ready to preach to a destitute church as they ever 
have been, without money and without price. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH (CONTINUED) 

AS has been said, Doctor Armitage entered on his 
pastorate in Norfolk Street, July 1, 1848. It 
should have been added that he preached his first 
sermon in the lecture room of Rutgers Institute, 
then located in Madison Street, which the trustees 
of that school had kindly placed at the disposal of 
the church while a new church edifice was being 
erected. The church had in the meantime decided 
to sell the plot of ground, corner of Broome, and 
Norfolk Streets, and build their new church home 
on the east side of Norfolk Street, between Broome 
and Grand Streets. 

The new place of worship was dedicated to God 
January 20, 1850, and cost about thirty thousand 
dollars. For several years it was crowded Lord's 
Day after Lord's Day, by audiences that listened to 
the preaching of the pastor with delight and profit, 
while there were large ingatherings of precious souls. 
But there were trials also. In 1852 certain diffi- 
culties, which dated back to Mr. Benedict's ministry, 
and which he had vainly entreated might be settled 
during his lifetime, came to a head, causing deep 
sorrow and bitter contention, which soon after led to 
86 



THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 87 

the exclusion of twenty-six persons from the church, 
and the dismission of a large number by letter, and 
eventually to the withdrawal of fellowship from a 
sister church which, contrary to Baptist usage, had 
received these excluded members. 

Happily these breaches of Christian comity which 
disturbed the peace of some of our churches in those 
days were long since healed, and so far as this 
writer knows, each Baptist church in this city is in 
perfect harmony with every other. The difficulties 
had however caused serious dissensions between the 
pastor and some of his deacons, dissensions which 
were greatly aggravated, if indeed not wholly caused 
by, the burning question of the day, the revision 
movement. 

The Norfolk Street Church had early taken posi- 
tion in favor of the revision of the English Scrip- 
tures. Those opposed were a small minority but a 
very bitter one, and capable (as the following pages 
will show) of working most disastrous consequences. 

One Sunday morning in July, 1851, the pastor, 
who had already become a leader on the side of the 
revisionists, had (in the exercise of a privilege 
usually conceded to a pastor) invited to his pulpit 
Rev. Dr. Archibald Maclay, who having just re- 
turned from one of his journeys made as the advo- 
cate of the American Bible Union, naturally took 
occasion to speak of his work. This gave great 
offense to some of the deacons, and so aggravated 
the existing dissensions between them and the pas- 



88 EEMINISCENCES 

tor that the latter appealed to the church for redress. 
The church, after due deliberation, referred the whole 
subject to a judicious committee, with instructions to 
Aveigh well the whole matter and report. Pursuant 
to these instructions, the committee at a subsequent 
business meeting of the church, submitted its report, 
recommending that the entire Board of deacons be 
requested to resign. The report thus submitted was 
fully discussed in three consecutive meetings, lasting 
from 8 P. M. until near midnight, the fullest lati- 
tude for debate being allowed to both sides. A 
division was finally called for, and the recommenda- 
tion was adopted by a very large majority. 

The resignations followed, and a lull ensued, 
during which six brethren were selected to serve the 
church until a new election should be held. 

At the election which followed shortly, six breth- 
ren were chosen to serve as deacons in three classes, 
in the same manner as trustees are elected : two to 
serve one year, two to serve two years, and two to 
serve three years. After that, two were to go out 
or be re-elected every third year. This, I think, is 
the first instance, in this city at least, of a deacon 
being chosen for a limited time. Heretofore such 
elections were for life. 

This action caused something like a hue and cry, 
even outside of the Norfolk Street Church. Many 
persons thought and said that this innovation would 
prove disastrous, cause bickerings, electioneering, 
and all sorts of evil. On the contrary, the experi- 




DEACON CHARLES T. GOODWIN. 



THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 89 

ence of forty-five years shows the happiest results. 
The deacons first chosen under the new rule were 
Charles T. Goodwin and George H. Hansell, Thomas 
Holman and J. P. Bliven, M. d., Sandy Higgins and 
Daniel Brown. Lots were drawn, and Charles T. 
Goodwin, of the old Board, and George H. Hansell, 
elected for the first time, drew the short terra. 

These two brethren were re-elected the following 
year and every third year thereafter, until Deacon 
Goodwin's death in 1884. George H. Hansell is 
still in office. During the past forty-five years no 
changes have been made except those necessitated 
by death, removal, or voluntary resignation. There 
have been but two instances of the latter sort. Since 
the election of the first Board under this rule, the 
deacons^ chairs have been filled successively by 
Thomas Warren, J. F. Jamieson, John C. Baxter, 
E. F. Welles, Albert Smith, J. L. Jones, James D. 
Eeid, B. F. Judson, J. F. Comey, L. M. Lawson, 
George H. Andrews, H. W. Fish, W. T. Pell, Wm. 
H. Bayne, and J. W. Gilbough. Brethren Jamieson, 
Warren, Baxter, Jones, Holman, Andrews, Judson, 
and Gilbough have died, and James D. Reid has 
removed to Scotland. The present deacons are : 
George H. Hansell, Horace W. Fish, John F. Co- 
mey, Walter T. Pell, L. M. Lawson, William H. 
Bayne, T. O. Conant, and E. H. Paddock. 

After the severe tribulations recorded above, the 
church had comparative peace for a time, but dis- 
turbing elements were still at work within, and these 



90 EEMINISCENCES 

were fomented from without, by some who, while 
bitterly antagonistic to the pastor and the conserva- 
tive members of the church, had been wise enough 
to foresee the evil and hide themselves by asking 
letters of dismission in time. 

It is pleasant to realize that we now live in more 
peaceful times, and are happy in the reflection that 
no afflictions of a like character have visited our 
beloved church in the last thirty-five years, and 
happier still in the indication that none await us in 
the future. 

The years 1853 and 1854 were distinguished by 
a gracious outpouring of the Holy Spirit, when about 
one hundred and forty were converted, baptized, and 
united with the church, and twenty- four were re- 
ceived by letter, so that the church gained more in 
those years than it lost by those who went out the 
previous year. There were constant additions by 
baptism and letter, but the years 1857 and 1858 
were especially marked by divine blessing. During 
those years Doctor Armitage was frequently assisted 
by visiting ministers and evangelists. Rev. Lewis 
Raymond spent a number of weeks with the church, 
and his preaching was blessed to the conversion of 
many, including several children of the officers of 
the church. 

The congregations continued large, and the preach- 
ing of the pastor was still listened to by delighted 
audiences ; but the neighborhood was rapidly chang- 
ing, the inhabitants were moving away, some to 



THE NOKFOLK STREET CHURCH 91 

Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and even to more remote 
parts of Long Island, while many others changed 
their residences to the upper part of New York 
City. Among the latter were numbers from our 
own church and congregation. 



CHAPTER Xyil 

THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH (CONTINUED) 

IN 1858 the church began seriously to contem- 
plate a change of location, and in 1859 it ap- 
pointed an afternoon service for the benefit of the 
up-town residents. The first services were held in 
a hall on the corner of Broadway and Thirty-fourth 
Street, which soon proved too small, and a large one 
was secured on the corner of Thirty-ninth Street, 
where large and continually increasing congregations 
assembled. About this time forty-three persons from 
the disbanded Central Park Baptist Church were re- 
ceived into our fellowship, and on June 29, 1859, the 
church resolved to remove to the upper part of the 
city, and appointed Charles T. Goodwin, Samuel 
Barstow, George H. Hansell, Benjamin Reynolds, 
William M. Waterbury, Thomas Holman, Thomas 
Warren, C. C. Pinckney, and Henry L. Slote, to- 
gether with the pastor, a committee to select a suita- 
ble location for a new church. Of this committe, 
only Henry L. Slote and George H. Hansell are 
living; but John E. Thompson, who was then 
assistant clerk, is now clerk of the Fifth Avenue 
Church. 

In October, 1859, this committee presented its 

92 



THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 93 

report, recommending the purchase of three lots on 
the west side of Fifth Avenue, next below the 
corner of Forty-sixth Street, but not including the 
corner lot, which the church has never owned, and 
two lots on AVest Forty-sixth Street, one hundred 
feet west of the corner, forming an L with the 
avenue lots. The intention was to erect a church 
edifice on Fifth Avenue, one hundred and fifteen 
feet deep, and a chapel on Forty-sixth Street, thirty- 
five feet Avide, using the space, fifteen by twenty- 
five feet, at the rear of the corner lot as a lobby 
through which to enter the main audience-room of 
the chapel. At this time the BulPs Head Cattle 
Market was nearly opposite the newly purchased 
lots, and Fifth Avenue was unpaved above Fortieth 
Street, so that those who came from downtown or 
across town, were forced to pick their way over 
loose planks, or wade through the mud as best they 
could. But these were trifles to a people who were 
in earnest. Immediately after the adoption of the 
report of the committee, the lecture room was com- 
menced, and in May, 1860, was opened for public 
worship, Eev. William Hague preaching the dedi- 
catory sermon. In the meantime, the property in 
JN'orfolk Street had been sold, and after all the obliga- 
tions resting on the corporation had been discharged, 
the church had two thousand eight hundred dollars 
with which to commence the new enterprise. No- 
wise daunted at the magnitude of the under- 
taking, the brethren went right forward, and doubt- 



94 REMINISCENCES 

less would have carried out the original plan had 
not the disastrous Civil War broken out in 1861. 

Previous to this all had promised well, but just as 
the church was purposing to ^^ arise and build/^ this 
terrible calamity overtook the country, and in the 
financial troubles and depression which immediately 
followed, many of those through whom the church 
hoped to prosecute the work had most of their 
means swept away, and eventually the Fifth Avenue 
lots had to be sold. A further trial followed in the 
illness and absence of the pastor, on whose usually 
robust health constant labor and intense anxiety 
produced such a strain that for eight months during 
the winter of 1862-3, he was obliged to seek restora- 
tion to health by means of an ocean trip and a season 
of rest among kindred and friends in his native land. 
During his absence the church was privileged with 
the ministrations of Rev. J. W. Bonham, whose 
genial, kindly manner and acceptable pulpit labors 
are still remembered with pleasure, although he has 
since connected himself with another denomination. 

After Doctor Armitage returned from Europe in 
the spring of 1863, he preached with much power 
and success, and the church took courage ; but as 
there was no longer any hope of recovering the 
Fifth Avenue lots, it was decided to purchase two 
additional lots on Forty-sixth Street. The pur- 
chase was made in 1864, thus securing the plot, one 
hundred feet square, on which the church edifice, 
lecture room, and parsonage now stand. 



THE NORFOLK STREET CHURCH 95 

Change of Name. In 1860, the church having 
at that time no doubt of its ability to carry out its 
original plans, having asked and obtained permission 
from the Supreme Court of New York State, assumed 
the corporate name of The Fifth Avenue Baptist 
Church. Although, as the church is at present 
located, the name is a misnomer, it has yet been re- 
tained, because its deeds and other legal papers had 
been made and executed in that name, and could not 
be changed without great inconvenience and ex- 
pense. 



CHAPTER Xyill 

THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 

THE present edifice occupied by this church was 
completed in June, 1865, and dedicatory serv- 
ices were held June 18. A parsonage was erected 
in 1867. While the main building was in process 
of erection the Madison Avenue Baptist Church 
generously tendered the use of their house for an 
afternoon service on Sundays, free of charge. The 
offer was gratefully accepted, and this proved a 
turning-point in the history of our church. At one 
of these services Mr. E. A. Coray, a large-hearted, 
w^ealthy Baptist from Scranton, Pa., was providen- 
tially present, and after hearing Doctor Armitage's 
sermon, pledged three thousand dollars for our new 
church edifice. Thus aided, we went forward, and 
after years of toil our heavenly Father crowned our 
efforts. In 1866, the twenty-fifth anniversary of 
our existence as a church, we enjoyed a reunion of 
friends who came from near and far. 

In 1868 we experienced a gracious revival, when 
the pastor was assisted by Rev. A. B. Earle, resulting 
in the conversion of from sixty to seventy persons, 
making, together with those received by letter, an 
addition of over one hundred during the year. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 97 

In March, 1871, a memorial service was held to 
give expression of our gratitude to God for permit- 
ting us to see the thirtieth anniversary of our church 
life, and in 1873 we were privileged to celebrate the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of our pastor's settlement 
among us. All these were occasions of great joy, 
and afforded significant proof of the affectionate 
tenacity that bound together pastor and people, and 
of the unalterable affection of Christian hearts, by 
the re-assembling in the old church home of num- 
bers of those whose circumstances had compelled 
or induced them to locate in distant parts of our 
country. 

But it was in 1878, on the occurrence of the 
thirtieth anniversary of Doctor Armitage's pastorate, 
that the church found occasion to realize more than 
ever before the freeness and fullness of that divine 
superintendence that had guided us all these years, 
and through toil and suffering and perplexity, had 
at last " brought us forth into a broad and generous 
place,^' where for the first time in all these years we 
could worship in our own church edifice free of debt. 
In the achievement of this we were greatly aided by 
an active Board of trustees, and especially by the 
practical knowledge and constant supervision of Mr. 
Warren Beman, one of their number. 

It was then determined to give some public ex- 
pression of our gratitude and joy, and a committee 
was appointed to arrange an order of exercises and 
issue invitations to as many of our former members 



98 REMINISCENCES 

as could be found, to be present on the occasion. 
The committee reported, recommending that the ap- 
proaching anniversary should be celebrated by four 
public services, to be held on Sunday, June 9, 1878, 
and suggesting an order of exercises. The report 
was adopted and the recommendation was carried 
out as follows : 

Thirtieth anniversary of Doctor Armitage's pastorate 
in the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, held June 9, 1878. 

Morning services, Historical, George H. Hansell, pre- 
siding. 

Noon services. Social, Charles T. Goodwin, presiding. 

Afternoon services, Financial, George H. Andrews, 
presiding. 

Evening services. Thanksgiving, Benjamin F. Judson, 
presiding. 

The proper time for this celebration should have been 
July 1, but as the pastor was expecting to be in Europe 
at that time the services anticipated the date. 

The order of the morning exercises was as follows : 

1. Voluntary and quartette. 

2. Invocatory prayer, by the pastor. 

3. Reading of the forty-seventh and forty-eighth 
Psalms, responsively. 

4. The Te Deum, followed with prayer by Charles T. 
Goodwin. 

5. Address of welcome, by the chairman, George H. 
Hansell, which is published by request. 

Beloved Friends : We are assembled for the worship 
of God this morning under circumstances of peculiar in- 
terest, and I feel that my brethren have conferred on me 
an honor and a privilege in that I am permitted to 
represent, for the time being, both the church and the 
pastor, and to speak to you in their behalf a word of 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 99 

welcome and of cheer. And I do this with special glad- 
ness because I see before me faces that I have not had 
the pleasure of greeting for many years ; and because I 
take your presence to witness that years of separation 
have not been years of estrangement. Yet no thought- 
ful person can stand in a position such as I occupy and 
look backward over a period of thirty years without 
mingled emotions. Busy memory will crowd his mind 
with recollections, and his will have been a most unusual 
life if some of those recollections are not tinged with sad- 
ness. On the other hand, his will have been an unworthy 
life, his a cold and thankless heart, to whom the retro- 
spect does not recall instances without number of tem- 
poral and spiritual blessings ; of fears happily dissipated ; 
of dangers safely passed ; of great trials possibly, but of 
greater deliverances, affording cumulative proof of the 
faithfulness of our God, and his tender mercies to all who 
trust him. 

And that which has been true in the experience of 
the individual Christian, has been, and is equally, true, 
not only of the church universal — the whole body of 
Christ — but of each particular church which, as a vine of 
the Lord's planting, has honestly striven to grow and bear 
fruit to the glory of the Great Husbandman who should 
ever be honored as the ''dresser of the vine," as well as 
the ' ' owner of the vineyard. ' ' Surely no church of Christ 
has greater cause for gratitude and praise than this 
church has this morning ! True, we remember loved 
ones who have passed away, faithful fellow-laborers and 
honored standard-bearers who have fallen by our side, but 
we rejoice that they fell with the "harness " on, and we 
cherish their memory as examples of noble lives, illus- 
trative of high purposes for the "kingdom of God," which 
if not fully attained, were at least consistently prosecuted, 
until the Master said, "It is enough." If redeemed 
spirits can look down from their bhssful abode to the 



100 ' REMINISCENCES 

scenes of their earthly toils, these are not the least inter- 
ested witnesses of our joy, as we meet this morning, in a 
house free from debt, to give thanks for an unbroken 
pastoral relation of thirty years, and a church history of 
thirty-seven years — a pastorate full of toil and abound- 
ing in incident, but for more than a quarter of a century 
unruffled by dissensions and unmarred by strife, with no 
difficulties to be adjusted, no flesh-wounds to be healed, 
and not a single heart-burning to be deplored, and a 
church history singularly marked by divine favor and 
blessing, and that during these years has had but two 
pastors, and has been pastorless less than forty-eight 
hours. 

By the report that will be laid before you this after- 
noon it will be seen that he whom we recognize as the 
Author of all spiritual blessings has been the bestower of 
all our temporal prosperity, and that he had bestowed it 
abundantly. Thus, beloved friends, we welcome you to 
a whole day of jubilee and praise, and ask you to rejoice 
with us : 

First. That this beloved pastor, who came to us thirty 
years ago in the warm glow of early manhood, with love 
that none could doubt, and zeal that none could fail to 
admire, but with a slender physique, which some of us 
thought little fitted to sustain the enormous strain which 
his mental characteristics clearly indicated would be laid 
upon it, and with a hectic flush upon his cheek that seemed 
still more alarming, is not only with us still, but preaches 
to us, from Sabbath to Sabbath, sermons that give evi- 
dence of more vigorous health and more mental power, 
combined with larger accumulations of knowledge and a 
richer experience, than he ever possessed. 

Second. That this beautiful meeting-house in which 
we worship is unencumbered by debt. 

Third. That although we passed through many and 
bitter trials in the early part of our church life, yet for 




HON. GEORGE H. ANDREWS. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 101 

the last twenty years we have had internal peace, and 
through the grace of our heavenly Father, a large meas- 
ure of external prosperity, both spiritual and temporal, 
for all of which we have deemed this a suitable occasion 
to give public thanks. 

After the above address of welcome, Deacon 
Hansell read the paper he had been requested to 
prepare, showing the history and progress of the 
church during the previous thirty years, the facts 
and incidents of which have been spread over the 
foregoing pages. An able and interesting anniver- 
sary sermon was then delivered by the pastor, and 
the morning services closed with the doxology and 
benediction. 

The social meeting was held in the lecture room 
at 1 p. M., Deacon Goodwin presiding. A collation 
was served and many impromptu speeches were 
made. 

In the afternoon a large assembly gathered in the 
main audience room, Deacon George H. Andrews 
presiding. After devotional exercises, a report 
from the sinking fund committee was presented by 
Messrs. Wm. Kemp and Wm. Rockefeller, of the 
Board of trustees, showing that the mortgages had 
been canceled and that the church was entirely free 
from debt. The presentation of this report was 
followed by cheery addresses from Deacon Charles 
T. Goodwin, president of the Board of trustees, and 
from Messrs. Mason, Reid, Comey, Jones, and Jud- 
son, and addresses of congratulation by Rev. Drs. 



102 REMINISCENCES 

Thomas D. Anderson, S. D. Burchard, and J. P. 
Newman. After singing a hymn the meeting was 
closed with the benediction. 

Evening session, thanksgiving, Deacon B. F. 
Judson presiding. A very large congregation as- 
sembled. The exercises consisted of, 1. Voluntary, 
quartette ; 2. Reading responsively the one hundred 
and forty-fifth Psalm ; 3. Solo, by Mr. E. Gilbert ; 
4. Prayer, by Deacon James D. Reid ; 5. Hymn, 
'^ The morning light is breaking '^ ; 6, Addresses by 
Rev. Drs. J. F. Elder, John Hall, and J. Cotton 
Smith. 

Hymn, " Blest be the tie that binds,'' was sung, 
and the exercises pertaining to the thirtieth anniver- 
sary of Doctor Armitage's settlement was closed with 
the benediction. 

The following named were the committees and 
persons in charge. 

COMMITTEES. 

On refreshments. Mrs. Daniel Bates, Mrs. Alonzo 
Hornby, Mrs. M. A. Scribner, and Mrs. L. M. 
Lawson. 

On flowers and decorations, Mrs. R. Donnell, 
Mrs. Charles Pegg, Mrs. Mary Sutton, Mrs. A. L. 
Smith, Mr. George Leeds, Mr. Thomas L. Harris, 
]\Ir. George Yaughan, Mr. Walter C. Root, and Mr. 
W. H. Jones. 

On invitations. Deacons George H. Hansell and 
J. F. Comey. 



CHAPTER XIX 

THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH (CONTINUED) 

THE years went by and soon the church was mak- 
ing preparation to celebrate the fortieth anni- 
versary of Doctor Armitage's settlement as pastor 
of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. At a meet- 
ing of the church and congregation held in the 
chapel on Wednesday evening, January 11, 1888, 
the following resolution was passed : 

Whereas, Our beloved brother and pastor is now com- 
pleting forty years of service in this church, and it is 
most proper that this distinguished era in our church 
history should be marked with an observance befitting 
its dignity and importance, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That the Board of Trustees and the Board of 
Deacons be constituted and appointed a committee of 
arrangement to make suitable preparations for the ap- 
propriate celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the 
settlement of the pastor of this church, and that the 
clerk be requested to notify the members of the com- 
mittee of this action, and request the said committee to 
meet at an early date to take into consideration the sub- 
ject of this resolution. 

In accordance with the above request, a joint 
meeting of the trustees and deacons was held in the 
chapel on the evening of Friday, March 16, at 

103 



104 REMINISCENCES 

which Messrs. L. M. Lawson, J. A. Bostwick, John 

F. Plummer, Wm. Rockefeller, and James D. Reid, 
were appointed a sub-committee, with power to make 
all necessary arrangements for carrying its purpose 
into eifect. 

This sub-committee subsequently presented a pro- 
gramme for religious exercises to be held in the 
church edifice, on Sunday, April 22, 1888, which 
was adopted and carried out, as follows : 

Morning service — Deacon B. F. Judson, presid- 
ing. After a delightful rendering of the hymn, 
'^ Oh, for a closer walk with God,'^ by the choir — 

G. Froelich, conductor and organist; Miss Jennie 
Dutton, soprano; Mr. A. L. King, tenor; Mrs. E. G. 
Gilmore, contralto ; Dr. Carl E. DufPt, baritone — the 
services of the day were opened by the rising of 
the congregation and the repetition of the Lord's 
Prayer. 

J. B. Simmons, d. d., read selections from the 
Scriptures. 

The following Memorial Hymn, written for the 
occasion by Samuel F. Smith, D. D., was sung : 

Glory to him whose wisdom led 

The children of his covenant love ; 
Who fed them all with heavenly bread, 

And taught and kept them from above. 

From Horeb, where the law was given, 
To Canaan, where they found their rest ; 

God was their king, their laws from heaven, 
God chose their way, their wanderings blessed. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 105 

Glory to him, unchanging, true, — 
We bow, adoring, to his name, — 

Who guides his flock the desert through. 
His love, for evermore the same. 

Glory to him whose hand has kept 
Our pastor through his forty years, 

While angel-benisons round him swept, 
And crowned with joy his toils and tears. 

From Nebo let his raptured eyes 
The promised land of glory see ; 

Then bid him from his Pisgah rise, 
To dwell forever, Lord, with thee. 

After responsive Scripture readings, prayer was 
oifered by Edward Bright, d. d. 

Mr. Judson then arose, and turning to Doctor 
Armitage, with much feeling said : 

We are here to-day, my beloved pastor, to celebrate 
the fortieth year of your settlement with us. Forty 
years, pastor, have we known each other. Thirty-seven 
years have we been in church-fellowship together. What 
a forty years it has been ! It has been forty years of 
hard work, forty years of faithful work, and forty years 
of fruitful work ; and our hearts to-day are just as warm, 
and our arms as open to receive and love you, as ever. 

Now (turning to the congregation, Mr. Judson said), 
we shall have the pleasure of listening to Doctor Armi- 
tage, our pastor, whom we honor and love, as he glances 
over his forty years of service with us. 

Before commencing his discourse Doctor Armi- 
tage spoke as follows : 



106 REMINISCENCES 

I expect to take ship next Saturday morning in the 
"Umbria, " for Liverpool, to be absent during the sum- 
mer, expecting to return in October, and as I shall need 
Thursday and Friday for making all the little prepara- 
tions incident to such an absence, I invite the church 
and congregation to meet on Wednesday night for social 
interview, hand-shaking, and adieus. In connection with 
that meeting I wish to submit a communication to the 
church and congregation that shall bear largely upon 
your future interests as a people. Next Lord's Day 
morning, the Rev. W. C. Bitting, pastor of the church 
at Harlem, will preach, and in the evening, the Eev. 
Henry M. Sanders, who will also have the pleasure of 
administering baptism to his young niece, Mamie N. 
Sanders. On the first Sunday of May, and through the 
months of May and June, you will have the pleasure of 
listening to the preaching of Dr. John A. Broadus, who 
is one of the best preachers, the noblest of men, and the 
most advanced scholars in the country. 

THE HISTORICAL SERMON. 

THE RETROSPECT OF FORTY YEARS. 

I have thought it best this morning to give you a very 
simple narrative connected with myself and my minis- 
try, and will read a passage from the twenty-ninth chap- 
ter of the First Book of Chronicles, found in the twenty- 
sixth to the thirtieth verse, as a sort of starting-point : 

Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. And the 
time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years 
reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in 
Jerusalem. And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, 
and honor ; and Solomon his son reigned in his stead. Now the 
acts of David the king, first and last, behold they are written in 
the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the 
prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer. With all his reign 
and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, 
and over all the kingdoms of tlie countries. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 107 

This narrative is so plain that it needs no exposition, 
and at the same time it is so suggestive of human Hfe in 
all other spheres of long service, as well as in that of a 
king, that any public man may find great profit in ap- 
plying some of its statements to himself. The expression, 
"The times that went over him," is full of meaning ; so 
full that no man can entirely understand how the stamp 
of his times forms the fabric of his character. Each man 
of years looks back on those times through the atmos- 
phere in which he moves. The farmer reads his life in 
agriculture, the builder in architecture, the physician in 
the art of healing, the merchant in commercial transac- 
tions, the monarch in statesmanship, and the Christian 
pastor in religious life. All experienced men see that 
the old skill and toil, the things to be done and the 
methods of doing them, have passed away with their 
times to a new order of things. The times which are now 
passing over us are so different from those of a genera- 
tion gone, that the old methods which led to success now 
lead to failure. Time and chance happen to all men ; 
but if men sleep and dream while their times are pass- 
ing, the dreamer will come to serious grief. Now and 
then one meets with one of these belated souls who 
wakes up much like an October wind crawling through 
the pine branches at Christmas. Such men rub their 
eyes and ask : "What is the cause that the former days 
were better than these?" Right here inspiration stops 
them with this protest : "Thou dost not inquire wisely 
concerning this." As in the landscape, distance softens 
every object while close contact with it dissolves its at- 
tractions, so it is in reviewing past times. He who gazes 
with admiration on the spreading rural scene cools his 
rapture when brought into close contact therewith. The 
picturesque hamlet which enraptured him from a far-off 
eminence, as its villas dotted mountain and slope and 
enwreathed their roof-trees in smoke from the hearth, is 



108 REMINISCENCES 

disenchanted ; for distance hid all squalor and disorder 
in the aspects of space. So, when we look back into 
times past, we forget the rough and the jagged in the 
softened and mellowed retrospect ; so that we cease to 
be fair judges of all the defects and inequalities, the as- 
perities and inconsistencies which made the past repul- 
sive. Very likely, indeed, in some cases, the rugged and 
unseemly may add to the general effect of bygones. 
Then the indistinctness of the misshapen, instead of of- 
fending the eye, throws a golden halo about the vanish- 
ing memory, especially if we have been sharers in the 
motives and contests of those times. The intrigues and 
jealousies of a man's present day affect his judgment 
against a sound decision on what is far back in his own 
life, until he becomes disgusted with his present sur- 
roundings ; and so he concludes that the present are de- 
generate times, and that the past were better. These 
pathetic lamentations paint the world as changed for 
the worse, and are apt to foster conceit in the old and 
to quench the confidence of hope in the young, till they 
come to believe in their own sad misfortune that they 
were born altogether too late, and so to disqualify them 
to serve the "times which are to pass over " them. 

David gained more renown than any crowned head 
ever did. Doctor Delaney says of him that he was, *' By 
birth a peasant, by merit a prince. In youth a hero, in 
manhood a monarch, and in age a saint." "First and 
last," as a Christian minister, the only things that I 
claim in common with this great and godly monarch are, 
a parentage and birth as lowly as his, a term of service 
running through quite as many years, and a debt of love 
to the times which have gone over me. 

BIRTHPLACE AND FAMILY. 

Your pastor was born at Pontefract, in the West 
Riding of York, England. This town is of great antiquity. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 109 

According to Camden, it existed before the Roman con- 
quest, and the Romans changed the name to Pontefract. 
For six hundred years its wonderful castle was the pride 
and terror of that part of the kingdom. It was built in 
A. D. 1069. Richard II. was a prisoner within its walls 
and died there. It was here that the Duke of Gloucester 
(afterward Richard III.) slew the Earl Rivers, Lord Grey, 
Sir Thomas Vaughan, and Sir Richard Hant. In the 
time of the Saxons it was called Kirkly, and it was one 
of the first places in England in which Christianity was 
preached. Hard by the frowning ruin of the old fortress 
lies the sacred dust of my precious mother. The only 
memory that I have of her is a dreamy recollection of 
her person, and the fact that I took the hand of my 
father and followed six men, who carried her on their 
shoulders past the castle gate, to her grave, where she 
has slumbered more than sixty years. . . My grand- 
parents were Wesleyans, and delighted in telling how 
intimate they were with John Wesley, who had often 
preached to them, notably in 1790, when he opened their 
new chapel at Northgate. My mother became a mem- 
ber of the society there, and m}^ grandmother often led 
me to this chapel after my mother was dead. Many a 
time — with a child's eyes — I have looked up to that 
strange, high old pulpit, in which Wesley preached, and 
wondered whether it would ever be my lot to stand in 
such a place. This inquiry was raised because I was 
constantly told by the family that when my mother was 
dying, she said: ''Bring my firstborn child to me and 
let me consecrate him to Christ, before I enter into my 
Master's glory." It is strange that I can recollect her 
funeral, but not this scene of the deathbed. I was always 
solemnly told that she laid her hand upon my head, as 
if in ordination, and said : "My Saviour, I leave my boy 
with thee, to be made a minister of the gospel." She 
then called for her Bible, which had been presented to 



110 REMINISCENCES 

her when a child from a legacy by Lord Wharton. This 
she delivered to her mother, with the charge that it was 
to be sacredly kept and given to me when I should be- 
come a Christian and a minister. This was her only 
legacy excepting her prayers, and when I preached my 
first sermon at Attercliffe Common, near Sheffield, in 
1835, at a little more than fifteen years of age, the text 
was taken from this book, Matt. 11 : 28 : "Come unto 
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give 
you rest." Three persons were brought to Christ under 
that sermon, and the Rev. Samuel Beedle, of Hull, Mass., 
who still survives, was present and heard it preached. 

EARLY YEARS IN THE MINISTRY. 

On the fifth of July, 1838, I sailed from Hull for New 
York, in the barque **Wolga," and landed here on Sep- 
tember third, having had a very pleasant passage of sixty 
days. For ten years, from 1838 to 1848, I labored in the 
Methodist ministry. These years I must pass by here, 
and my reasons for becoming a Baptist at the end of that 
time. At the latter of these dates I was pastor of the 
Washington Street Methodist Church, in Albany, and 
taking a regular dismission on the first of June, was 
baptized by Bartholomew T. Welch, d. d., on June 4, 
1848. The first of the New York churches that I visited 
with a view to the pastorate, was the Norfolk Street. 
This visit was made on the eleventh of June, when I 
preached three sermons in the first meeting-house owned 
by this church, at the corner of Broome and Norfolk 
Streets. On June 12, the day after I had preached in 
that meeting-house, the building was burned to the 
ground. I therefore preached the last three sermons 
that were preached in your first meeting-house. 

THE CALL TO NEW^ YORK. 

On the tenth of June, 1848, the church met for busi- 
ness in the meeting-house of the Stanton Street Church. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 111 

Mr. Benedict, the enfeebled pastor, presided that evening 
for the last time, and affectionately pressed upon his 
people the need of relieving him from his pastoral care, 
and begged that he might be permitted to name his suc- 
cessor. His request was granted, and the same evening 
your present pastor was chosen to stand in his place. ^ 

At the close of the sermon Doctor Armitage gave 
the hand of church-fellowship to four persons whom 
he had recently baptized, and after the rendering of 
the anthem, "Sing Hallelujah/^ by the choir, the 
benediction was pronounced by Rev. Henry S. Day. 

Afternoon services — Sunday-school and denom- 
inational reunion, J. A. Bostwick, president of the 
Board of Trustees, presiding. 

At three o'clock the house was again full, with 
many visitors from other churches. Some important 
changes were apparent. There had been placed in 
front of the platform a fine bronze bust of Doctor 
Armitage, the work of Miss Louise Lawson, of New 
York (since passed to her rest), which was to be 
presented to the pastor on behalf of Deacon L. M. 
Lawson and Mrs. Lawson, the donors. The bust 
was wreathed with flowers, and the likeness was 
quickly recognized. 

The exercises of the afternoon were opened by 
singing the well-known hymn beginning : " How 
sweet and heavenly is the sight.'' After prayer, by 
the senior deacon of the church, Mr. Geo. H. Han- 

^ Doctor Armitage' s acceptance of this call and its condi- 
tions, have already been recorded. 



112 EEMINISCENCES 

sell, followed the anthem, '^ We praise thee, O God,'^ 
sung by the choir. 

Mr. Bostwick, in a few appropriate words of in- 
troduction, announced that John F. Plummer, Esq., 
member of the Board of Trustees, w^ould deliver the 
address of welcome, and would also present the 
bronze bust of Doctor Armitage, the gift of Mr. and 
Mrs. Lawson. 

Mr. Plummer then said in part : 

Mr. Chairman, Brothers, Sisters, and Friends. — We 
are here to-day to speak kind words to our beloved pas- 
tor, and to join in all these exercises as an expression of 
our sense of the grandness of his work, and of our recog- 
nition of the nobility of his character. In the presence 
of this great community during the past forty eventful 
years Doctor Armitage has, with mingled toil and trial, 
completed a record which commands our admiration, 
gratitude, and love. We are here to-day to express that 
gratitude and give loving testimony of our common 
esteem for him as pastor and friend. 

It is no easy task, in these busy days, to value aright 
the character which one makes in his or her life ; but 
with the testimony of these forty years before us, where 
we can look at it in the clear light of its public record, 
where we can properly estimate the value of its lessons 
and the nature of its influences, we feel that in this case, 
at least, it is well rounded and complete. . . To have 
been able, therefore, to stand, as Doctor Armitage has, 
in one pulpit, before one people, before one community, 
and so manage all the affairs which have come under his 
direction, as to have the church over which he presides 
to-day as pastor love him more truly than ever before, 
and the community in which he has lived and made his 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 113 

record, admire and honor him as they do, is a noble vic- 
tory and grand example. . . My friends, it is a pleasure 
to welcome you here this afternoon ; to welcome you the 
friends, you the members of this church, to these memo- 
rial services. I welcome the friends, who will have many 
tender memories revived. I welcome the children, in 
whose hearts no man had a warmer place than Doctor 
Armitage. He has never been too old for even the 
youngest child. 

Mr. Plummer continued, in substance, as follows : 

On behalf of two of our beloved members. Deacon L. 
M. Lawson and his good wife, I present to Doctor Ar- 
mitage the bust in bronze, now before me ; and I can 
best do this by reading a letter addressed to J. A. Bost- 
wick, Esq., Chairman, and signed L. M. Lawson and 
Theodosia Thornton Lawson. 

The writer of these Reminiscences regrets not 
having space to insert in full the eloquent letter 
which concludes thus : 

While the genius of the artist has molded the noble 
effigy for temporal vision, Thomas Armitage himself has 
erected a monument more enduring than bronze in the 
grateful hearts of his people, which shall tell to coming 
time the influence of his love and power. 

In reply to the address of presentation, Doctor 
Armitage then said : 

Brother Moderator. — Bronze, as a metal, is an ad- 
mixture of tin and copper and is extremely ancient. I 
suppose that the brass of the New Testament was a spe- 
cies of bronze, and it is very likely that that of the Old 

H 



114 REMINISCENCES 

Testament was also. In the history of arts we have the 
three ages. First, that of stone, so that the implements 
of labor and warfare were probably of stone in the earliest 
history of man. Then came the age of bronze, and after 
that the age of iron. But human nature is older than 
bronze. Love lived in the human bosom before the 
amalgam of tin and copper entered the human brain, 
and although bronze is the most durable of all the metals 
excepting gold, bronze will disappear, its elements will 
dissolve, its existence will be forgotten, while love will 
still bind man to man and to the heart of the living God, 
and live through all the coming years. 

I thank my dear brother and sister for this very valu- 
able present, and I prize it the more and receive it with 
the greater cheerfulness in behalf of my wife and chil- 
dren, because it is the work of a woman — of a gentle 
Christian lady. I know her well. Her grandfather was 
a minister of the Lord Jesus, and she molded that bronze 
from my face because she loved me as a Christian pastor. 
I think she did her work well. 

Rev. Dr. Edward Judson, pastor of the Berean 
Church, was then introduced by Mr. Bostwick, and 
spoke as follows in substance : 

Mr. President, Brothers, and Sisters. — I esteem it a 
very great privilege to share in commemorating with 
music and flowers and gladness an interchange of Chris- 
tian thought the fortieth anniversary of Doctor Armi- 
tage's pastorate. My memory can scarcely stretch over 
forty years. Forty years ago I was a puny little boy in 
Burma. My father was just completing nearly forty 
years of his missionary career, while Doctor Armitage 
was beginning that ministerial life which has flowed on 
in this great city through all these years like a deep be- 
neficent river. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 115 

I believe in occasions of this kind. Doctor Hoge, of 
Richmond, lately preached a sermon from the text, 
"Say so," taken from the one hundred and seventh 
Psalm, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so." It 
taught the duty of saying so. I shall never forget some 
lines written, I think, by Walter Savage Landor, in which 
a wife apostrophizes her husband as follows : 

Carve not upon a stone when I am dead, 

The praises which remorseful mourners give 
To women's graves a tardy recompense ; 

But speak them while I live. 
Forget me when I die : the violets above my rest 

Will blossom just as blue, 
Nor miss thy tears ; e'en Nature's self forgets ; 

But while I live be true. 

During my acquaintance w^ith Doctor Armitage, I have 
learned to admire his rich learning. . . I never heard 
him, either in private conversation or in the pulpit, use 
other than pure, classical English. . . Again, I have 
learned in my acquaintance with him, to appreciate also 
his crystallized simplicit3^ I never heard him make a 
statement in private discourse, or on the platform, or in 
the pulpit, that was not crystalline in its lucidity. 

The truth may be a deep well, but you can see to the 
bottom of it. . . Again, I have always loved Doctor Ar- 
mitage because of his guilelessness. I do not know a 
man about whom it could be more truly said that he was 
straight grained, about whom there was nothing crooked 
or sly. . . The nearer you come to Doctor Armitage, 
and the better you know him, the more you find this 
trait of guilelessness, of solid sincerity, that he was the 
same all the way through. 

The following hymn, contributed by a young lady 
in Boston, and sent to the superintendent of the Sun- 
day-school, Dr. J. H. Gunning, was then sung : 



116 REMIN ISCENCES 

We come, dear Lord, with joyful heart ; 

Glad dawns the watched-for day ; 
And turning from earth's cares apart, 

We grateful homage pay. 
From out thine hand all blessings fall, 

Love, honor, length of days ; 
Pastor and people, one and all, 

Raise now glad notes of praise. 

For him, our leader, teacher, friend, 

Our shepherd, given of thee, 
Our prayers shall ever reascend 

In ceaseless symphony. 
For two-score years the bread of life 

His tireless hand has fed, 
And dauntless 'mid earth's jostling strife, 

In heavenly pathways led. 

His monument be saved souls, 

By word or printed page ; 
Heaven's mystic book of life enrolls 

Its countless heritage. 
Now grant, dear Lord, our heart's desire, 

Bend near us while we pray ; 
Refresh, reward, uphold, inspire, 

Cheer all his upward way. 

Long may his cherished presence lend 

Its comfort and its grace ; 
Rich harvest seasons may he spend 

In his accustomed place ; 
And when the golden gates unfold, 

Safe on that heavenly shore ; 
Crown him, 'mid glories never told, 

Not lost, but gone before. 

E. S. MacArthur, d. d., pastor of Calvary Church, 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHUKCH 117 

was introduced by Mr. Bostwick, and spoke in his 
usual eloquent and forceful style. A few brief ex- 
cerpts must suffice here, as follows : 

Mr. Chairman and Good Friends. — This is an occa- 
sion of much more than ordinary interest, not for this 
church alone, and not for the churches of our loved de- 
nomination alone, but also for the churches of all denom- 
inations in the city and for the city of New York as a city. 
When a man completes forty years of such a pastoral life 
as that of Doctor Armitage, we would be false to every 
instinct of humanity, and false to every prompting of 
Christianity, if we did not mark the occasion by special 
thanks and by appropriate words. 

Personally, I am glad to be here this afternoon. 
When I came to New York eighteen years ago, one of 
the first to greet me with the words of a brother and a 
father, was Doctor Armitage. I have often thanked God 
for words of kindness spoken then, and for his many 
deeds of kindness performed since. . . I find in Doctor 
Armitage something of the brilliancy of Robert Hall, 
with much of the tenderness, sweetness, and simplicity 
of Andrew Fuller. Robert Hall was much the more 
brilliant of the two. The world has long listened to his 
eloquent words spoken under the shadow of the great 
universities of England ; but the world has felt the throb 
of Andrew Fuller's heart. Andrew Fuller also shaped 
the theological thinking of England and America as 
Robert Hall never did or could. Thomas Armitage is, 
at times, Robert Hall in his lofty eloquence, in his bril- 
liancy, in his splendor of diction. He is always Andrew 
Fuller in his devoutness, sweetness, gentleness, and loy- 
alty to God and his Christ. 

Let me say, in the second place, that I admire Doctor 
Armitage because of his loyalty to his own church and 



118 REMINISCENCES 

denomination, while at the same time he is courteous 
toward all other churches and denominations. There is 
no contradiction between these two positions. No man, 
I think, is so able to have a warm hand and loving heart 
for men of other denominations as the man who is loyal 
to his own. 

Some time ago Mr. Spurgeon told the story of a com- 
positor who was setting up a copy of the Bible, and who, 
when he came to the reference to Daniel, "And Daniel 
had an excellent spirit in him," set it up, "And Daniel 
had an excellent spine in him." Mr. Spurgeon says the 
compositor did not make much of a mistake. It cer- 
tainly was true of Daniel, and if there is anything, I 
think, we all need to-day as Christians and as members 
of the various denominations, it is an excellent spine. 
We need to know the truth and to stand erect under 
every burden which its advocacy obliges us to bear, 
so that we can be loyal to our distinctive beliefs with- 
out ever being discourteous toward those who cherish 
opposite faiths. Here sits our true friend and brother. 
Doctor Crosby. What a noble Baptist he would make ! 
But I ought to feel kindly to the Presbyterians, for my 
father and mother both started as Presbyterians. My 
mother learned better after she grew older ; but my father 
never did. He remained a stalwart in support of his 
early training in Scotland, but he always said : "I ad- 
mire the consistency of Baptists, and if I believed as they 
do with reference to baptism, I would do precisely as 
they do with reference to the Lord's table." 

The children of the Sunday-school then sang the 
anniversary hymn, written by Harry C. White, Yale, 
April 10, 1888. 

Now we our voices raise 
To Christ our King, 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHUECH 119 

In anthems of glad praise, 

Grateful we sing. 
Rich have thy blessings been 
Through thy minister to men, 
We, for his service, then 

Thanksgivings bring. 

In him has lodged thy power 

Children to lead ; 
His pure life every hour 

Scatters good seed. 
On this, the festal day, 
For continued care we pray. 
May he have strength alway 

For good to plead. 

May the revolving years 

New blessings show, 
Guarding his life from tears 

And human woe. 
When comes the loving call, 
Raising him from earthly thrall, 
There, shall the angels, all, 

Sing ''Welcome home." 

Mr. Bostwick next introduced Rev. Dr. Howard 
Crosby, " a man beloved by all denominations, and 
by none more than by ourselves. 

Doctor Crosby began as follows : 

What an excellent spine Brother MacArthur's father 
had ! We Presbyterians are generally rather strong in 
that portion of our frame, and yet I appear here to-day 
not as a Presbyterian ; for whatever my private views in 
regard to Presbyterian doctrine, they are subordinate to 
the word of God. 



120 REMINISCENCES 

Continuing, the doctor said : 

Forty years ago brings us, the older members of this 
assembly, back to the memory of a very remarkable year, 
that of 1848. The year when Louis Philippe ran away from 
his throne ; the year in which Pius IX. was driven out of 
Rome ; the year in which the emperor of Austria had to 
abdicate his throne ; the year in which the late emperor 
of Germany (then Prince of Prussia) was stoned in Dus- 
seldorf ; the year of revolutions. Well I remember that 
year, for I spent part of it in Europe, and saw three or 
four of the battles that occurred during that stormy 
period. It is a long time ago ; if measured not by inci- 
dents of human history, but by the experience of human 
souls, it is a very long time. How much good has been 
done in all this time by my brother ! . . I pray that the 
Lord will long continue him among us, that he may con- 
tinue the work he has been doing. 

C. DeW. Bridgeman, d. d., pastor of Madison 
Avenue Baptist Church, was introduced. He said 
in part : 

Good Friends. — It would be indelicate to pour out on 
Doctor Armitage all the complimentary phrases which 
this occasion prompts one to utter. His joy in the serv-, 
ice might be slain by the offense that would be done to 
his modesty. Still, I am in most hearty accord with 
what brethren have said as to the propriety of our using 
great freedom of speech notwithstanding his presence, 
and allowing something more than a few trickling drops 
of eulogy to escape from our hearts. . . The opportu- 
nity, however, which is given us to-day, is something 
unusual. Forty years are commemorated — forty years 
of a pastorate that still is unbroken. The fact is signifi- 
cant of capacity, of faithfulness, of high Christian char- 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 121 

acter ; and whilst his brethren in the ministry may mul- 
tiply words to show their estimate of his worth, this 
celebration itself is Doctor Armitage's best eulogy. 

The hour being late, Doctor Bridgman concluded 
his very interesting address, much of which is neces- 
sarily omitted, in the following touching words : 

May strength and grace still be given him from above 
as his ministry is continued ; may your love abound 
toward him whilst other years come and go, until his 
ministr}^ be fulfilled, and the glory is given him which is 
declared in the promise, "They that be wise shall shine 
as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn 
many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." 

D. C. Potter, d. d., was then introduced and said : 

The hour is late, and the necessity of your departure 
reminds me of a Greek astronomer, who, going into the 
square of Athens and staring at a great stellar chart, en- 
tered into a long and tedious discourse about wandering 
stars. Stern old Diogenes coming along, heard him and 
said grimly : *'It is not the stars that are wandering, it 
is your audience." 

. Who is there who would not be glad to stand on this 
platform and place a wreath on that brow ? (Pointing to 
the bronze bust.) I have looked all around among these 
beautiful decorations hoping that I might discover some- 
where a chain of leaves to put there. It was the custom 
of those who went to the old games to carry laurel and 
bay wreaths for the victors, and after the games were 
completed, almost to smother them as they threw them 
on one after the other. Who is there who would not be 
glad to throw a laurel wreath, if he could, upon the 
brow of Thomas Armitage ? 



122 EEMINISCENCES 

It had been arranged for some more distinct serv- 
ices on the part of the Sunday-school and an address 
by Dr. J. H. Gunning, superintendent, but they were 
unwillingly given up because of the limited time and 
the number of speakers. 

Evening services — Keunion of church and con- 
gregation, John F. Plummer, Esq., presiding. 

An audience packing the house in every part was 
again present, with a number of distinguished friends 
of Doctor Armitage on the platform. 

The chairman : 

The time has arrived for us to commence the closing 
services of this most delightful day. Permit me to ex- 
plain why I am here before you in the place of Mr. Wm. 
Rockefeller, whose name is on the programme to preside 
this evening. Mr. Rockefeller is suffering from indispo- 
sition and is unable to speak, and has asked me to take 
his place. I reluctantly do so, knowing the pleasure it 
would have been to you all to have heard from one of 
whom it can be said, no more loyal friend to this church 
and to his pastor lives. 

Music, ^^ There is a green hill ^^ — Somerset ; 
prayer, by Mr. James D. Reid. 
Mr. Plummer then said : 

Our exercises this morning were under the care and 
direction of officers of the church, and Doctor Armitage 
gave us a most instructive and interesting narrative of 
his forty years' pastorate, and of its historical connection 
with this city. 

This afternoon the time was occupied by the offerings 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 123 

of his brother pastors, who laid willing tributes of love 
and affection at his feet. 

You will see by the programme of the evening that it 
is to be a church and congregational reunion, and much 
of the time will be given to personal reminiscences. 

It is now my pleasure to introduce to you Deacon L. 
M. Lawson, who will address you with words of welcome. 

After extending a cordial welcome to the audience, 
and thanking the ladies especially for their presence 
and their co-operation in all that had given interest 
to these anniversary exercises, Mr. Lawson continued 
in part as follows : 

Anniversaries are usual events ; so usual, that they 
come to all existence that is marked by birth, and 
growth, and decay. . . This anniversary is to this church 
yet a youthful fete, for though the interval of time be- 
tween 1848 and the present is a long period in the life 
of any one of us, it is a short time in the existence of a 
great organization. Of all the great sovereigns who ruled 
the nations of the world at the time when Doctor Armi- 
tage entered the ministry, not one of them remains save 
her most gracious majesty, the queen of his native isle. 
In our own land the year 1848 marked the close of the 
Mexican War, and the addition to the territory of the 
Union of a region as vast as all that which lies between 
the Mississippi River and the Atlantic Ocean . . . and 
our country's banners " dip their fringes in the Western 
sea," while the vast and busy region once known as the 
American desert, is now the seat of civilization and 
wealth, and is traversed by railway carriages at the speed 
of thirty miles an hour. I need hardly speak of the won- 
derful growth of the Baptist denomination and the suc- 
cess of its great enterprises, nor here and now, of the 



124 REMINISCENCES 

foremost part taken therein by our pastor. To this in- 
dividual church he has been all that grace and power 
and zeal could bestow, the cheerful guide to age in its 
extremity, the hopeful prop of manhood in adversity, the 
joyful counselor of youth in its fairest hope, and even 

Children followed with endearing wile, 

And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile. 

At the conclusion of Mr. Lawson's address, the 
chairman introduced D. Henry Miller, D. D., and 
Messrs. John D. Kockefeller, Charles L. Colby, L. 
H. Niles, J. F. Comey, and Walter T. Pell. Want 
of space forbids more than the following brief ex- 
tracts from these interesting addresses. 

Doctor Miller said in part ; 

I wanted to be here to show my sympathy with my 
brother and my rejoicing in the day and the occasion 
and all that is involved in it. I was reminded this after- 
noon of a minister in the vicinity of Boston, who took 
for his text, ''None of these things move me." He said 
he would divide his text under the three heads following : 
First, ''Some things should move us," and secondly, 
"Some things should not move us," and thirdly, "We 
should move some things." I think you have brought 
us to just the spot and the place where some things are 
being moved : aflfections, precious memories, the recol- 
lections of other days, the associations of seasons gone, 
and with men loved and honored. . . You have had a 
grand man here. You cannot say too much of him. 
You cannot do too much for him. We have felt his 
power in the Associations, in the churches, in the coun- 
cils, and in the ministry ; and when there has come a 
time when special counsel was needed, a man to stand in 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 125 

the gap, to do us honor as well as himself and his Master, 
Doctor Armitage was the man. 

Mr. Rockefeller said of Doctor Armitage : 

I have had the pleasure of his acquaintance for nearly 
twenty years. I have valued that friendship very highly. 
It is a pleasant thing as I look back over these years, for 
me to feel that I have always been getting good from 
him, and never harm. 

Mr. Colby spoke in substance as follows : 

A business man tests everything and measures every- 
thing. That is the very essence of business. If he is 
going to deal with a man, he w^ants to get that man's 
measure. He sizes him so as to know just how big he is. 
If he has officers or clerks under him, he wants to know 
just how far and what departments he can trust to 
their ability and their integrity. He w^ants to know just 
how big a hole each man can fill. When he has a doctor, 
or a lawyer, or a minister, he measures him in the same 
way. He tests him with the test that he applies to other 
things. One of the first things that a business man wants 
to know about those w^ho are with him is, do they aim 
for results? Sometimes I hear a man preach an eloquent 
and beautiful sermon, and I go out of the door and hear 
the remarks that are made. ''Oh, what an eloquent 
man he is ; what a beautiful sermon we have had to-day ; 
how apt those quotations were ; I do not believe that 
there is another man in the city who draws so easily 
and fills the pews so well as he." But I do not hear a 
single man say, ''I declare, I am not so good a man as 
T thought I was. I have been stirred this morning. 
I wdll have to turn around and face the other w^ay and 
do better." On another occasion, after Avhat many have 



126 REMINISCENCES 

called an ordinary sermon, I hear a man say, ' ' I believe 
I am a sinner. I never thought I was such before." I 
recognized at once the difference between the preachers. 
One man is preaching for a reputation, preaching to 
draw an audience, the other for results. If a party of 
gentlemen in Wall Street should send a man to Europe 
to sell securities, and when he reached there he enter- 
tained his customers with a beautiful discourse about 
the matters under consideration, and they should, as 
they parted, only say, "He is a most wonderful and 
brilliant talker," the men who sent him over would at 
once order him home and would tell him that that was 
not what he was sent to do. So, the man in the pulpit 
is there for a purpose. Does he aim to accomplish it? 

When we measure Doctor Armitage by the results of 
his preaching, we see what he has worked and aimed 
for. Count up the children that he has led to that Shep- 
herd who has taken them in his arms. Count up the 
young men who have gone out from his church into 
every part of our land, and wherever they are, are stand- 
ing up for that Saviour whom Doctor Armitage taught 
them to love. Count up the young, strong men, who 
everywhere to-day are standing in the front ranks, hold- 
ing the banner of the cross, and who tell you that they 
have been brought there through his kind aid. Count 
up the older men who to-day stand about him, with their 
hearts as warm as ever, and who believe in the Saviour 
and Redeemer of men. Count them up and you will 
find a host. 

Many of us have been to church when ministers, gen- 
erally young, have talked to us about advanced thought ; 
of something which they think nobody else ever thought 
of. They have got ahead of the times. Old mistakes, 
they have said, must be rectified ; that the old doctrines 
are worn out, and that they have new ways and new 
methods to propose. 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 127 

If any have ever come to Doctor Armitage expect- 
ing to hear about any new doctrine, some new way to 
everlasting life, they have gone away disappointed. They 
have come here and heard the same old story of the 
cross, the one way of salvation direct from Calvary to the 
Eternal City. He has kept on that track as steadily as 
Uie locomotive on the rail. When the engine under- 
takes to pull across lots, it goes into the ditch, and the 
preacher who tries a newer or a shorter way than by the 
good old gospel track, is sure to fail. The doctor has 
kept on the track. 

But an engine is useless without fire. It may be a 
beautiful thing, it may be perfect in all its parts, but it 
is useless and helpless as a clod of clay without fire. In 
a great factory all is silent and still. There is not a loom 
at work, not a wheel turning, not a shaft in motion. 
There is no fire in the box. But light that fire and start 
the steam and the whole machinery will be alive with 
motion. So there are ministers, well educated, thor- 
oughly trained, able men, great scholars, but they stir 
nobody, because they have no fire. Doctor Armitage, 
from first to last, not only has had the fire burning in 
his own heart, but he has fired up everybody else. I be- 
lieve but little can be accomplished in this world without 
enthusiasm, without soul, without fire. 

Doctor Armitage has had a magnificent career of forty 
years. His work has been grand. We hope it may be 
grander still. We hope also that when that work is over, 
his deeds will live long after he is gone. 

At the request of the chairman, Mr. King, the 
tenor of the church choir, sang, with much effect, 
" Come unto me/^ 

The chairman said : " We are unfortunate in not 
having with us Mr. George N. Curtis and Mr. D. 



128 REMINISCENCES 

W. Manwaring, from whom remarks were expected, 
but who are necessarily absent/^ Mr. Niles spoke 
at some length, concluding with : 

In 1868 or 1869 I became identified with this church, 
and remained with it twelve years. My relations were 
very delightful, and I recall them w'ith great pleasure. 
Doctor Armitage endeared himself to me and my family, 
and I rejoice to be here to-night to do him honor. 

Deacon J. F. Comey said : 

I have loved some few public men ; but outside of 
family ties, I never loved any man as I love Doctor 
Armitage. Twenty years ago I united with this church. 
... I have never known Doctor Armitage in all these 
years to tremble in uttering his convictions. Such 
teachings have been an inspiration to me many a time. 
He has blessed my family, and my children have become 
Christians under his ministry. 

Deacon W. T. Pell greeted Doctor Armitage as : 

The friend, counselor, and loving pastor of his boy- 
hood, who seemed always to be in the mood for saying 
something interesting and bright. There have been 
few enjoyments so great as to listen to your conversa- 
tion. 

Mr. Frank J. Goodwin concluded some interest- 
ing recollections of Doctor Armitage's frequent visits 
to his father's house when the speaker was a small 
boy, by a loving tribute to the pastor. 

Addresses were also made by Col. Joel W. Ma- 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 129 

son, Rev. Samuel Alman, Rev. D. W. Wisher, 
Hon. Thomas C. Acton, and Gen. Clinton B. Fiske. 
Colonel Mason said, in substance ; 

I became acquainted with Doctor Armitage soon after 
he was chosen pastor of this church. He was then 
preaching in Norfolk Street. I had been attending the 
Tabernacle Baptist Church in Mulberry Street, but the 
congregation moved to Second Avenue and Tenth Street, 
then considered to be away uptown. So, wishing to go 
to some Baptist church, and hearing there was a Baptist 
minister near where I then lived, I went to hear him. 
When I arrived the lower part of the house was filled to 
overflowing, but I managed to get into the gallery. 
Thomas Armitage was the preacher. He was delivering 
a course of sermons to young men. He handled his 
subject without gloves, and as he denounced the vices 
and follies of young men, I felt like shouting Amen, and 
I said to my wife, ** That is the minister for us." From 
that time to this I have been a member of his congrega- 
tion. I have been greatly benefited by the very able 
sermons preached by Doctor Armitage, especially in my 
life as a business man. His annual sermons to the aged 
and the young of both sexes have been models of the 
best religious common sense. . . Forty years have 
passed since Doctor Armitage became pastor of this 
church. His path has not always been strewn with 
flowers. He has encountered many a thorn in the way 
and had his share of the afflictions of human life. But 
he is now in the flower of his usefulness. The church 
and congregation have just reason to feel proud of him, 
and to be thankful that he has so long been spared to them . 

Rev. Samuel Alman, pastor of the Emmanuel 
Baptist Church, then said : 



130 REMINISCENCES 

Mr. Chairman : When I read the names of the 
speakers on this programme, not being present to hear 
them at the forenoon and afternoon sessions, I came to 
the conckision that Httle could be said by me that was 
new ; but in that basket of fair HUes (pointing to a basket 
of flowers), while all have the same outward appearance, 
they yet differ in size and tint and form, and it takes 
them all to make that beautiful cluster. I want to add 
one lily more. 

I come from your oldest daughter, doctor, your first 
child, to put upon your head a wreath of evergreen, and 
I assure you that no more pleasant office could be dele- 
gated to me than this. 

Addressing the church, Mr. Alman said : 

There is something very markedly peculiar in the re- 
lationship that exists between the speaker and your 
pastor. As many of you know, I was born and trained 
when a youth, very religiously in the orthodox Jewish 
faith, and when I was a boy I remember oftentimes my 
father's and my mother's hands resting upon the Hebrew 
lad, in the solemn prayer X)f dedication. My name, 
Samuel, means something. It was my mother's and 
father's prayer that I should be a Jewish minister, and 
constantly their hands were upon my head, especially on 
Friday night, when we went into the synagogue to wor- 
ship. They wanted me to be a Jewish rabbi. 

As a lad I wandered around the world a good deal, 
until I reached the age of twenty-four, when I was con- 
verted and brought to the Lord Jesus Christ. When I 
was ordained before this pulpit, something like twenty 
years ago, and the dear doctor's hand rested upon my 
head trembling in emotion and in benediction, my 
memory went back to my boyhood days, and I said, 
truly God is good and he has answered the prayer of my 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 131 

father and mother in a more abundant manner than 
they ever conceived of. Not a minister of circumcision, 
but a minister of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. 
And I will never forget the consecrating prayer that the 
doctor then offered standing here where I now stand. 

Now, I not only come representing the daughter of 
this church, but more, I might also say the grand- 
children. Oh, how many of them have been born 
through this instrumentality ! And it is very fitting that 
I should say only this word here to-night : We owe all 
that we are, and all that we shall be, humanly speaking, 
to the kind treatment, the sympathy, the devotedness 
and the benevolence of this church and pastor.^ . . 

There is one thing I want to emphasize. I am not a 
collegian. I never had the opportunity of one day's ed- 
ucation in any institution. . . 

If I am anything as a Christian pastor to-day, I owe 
it largely to the kind fatherly treatment and help I re- 
ceived from Doctor Armitage, when, timid and fearful, 
I entered the Master's service. I am glad to be here to- 
night to say this word. 

Doctor Armitage can, I think, say with the psalmist 
to-night, "My cup runneth over." It is better to give 
flowers to the living while they can enjoy them than to 
put them on the coffin when they are gone. And so you 
have been strewing flowers of praise, of aff'ection, and ad- 
miration. It is right to do so. It is a grand thing for a 
church to say, * ' We have had our pastor for forty years. ' ' 
I ask you to accept our notes of gladdest greeting. 

Rev. D. W. Wisher (colored), pastor of the Mount 
Olivet Church, being introduced, spoke as follows : 

1 Emmanuel Church is a branch of the Fifth Avenue 
Church, and its edifice was erected by J. A. Bostwick, Esq., 
and presented to its trustees. 



132 REMINISCENCES 

Mr. Chairman : It is with the greatest pleasure that I 
am here as a messenger of Mount Olivet Baptist Church, 
the daughter, sending words of love, words of congratula- 
tion, words of praise to her father and mother in the faith, 
to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of their marriage as 
pastor and church. Our hearts to-day are glad and full of 
thanksgiving to God for his goodness and his grace to us 
both. At the same time we feel proud that we can honor 
ourselves as we thank God that ever since we were born 
out of this church he has kept us so that you can look 
upon us and feel that we have not dishonored your name. 
With great reverence and high respect, we look up to 
you. Doctor Armitage, and if it were the custom in this 
age, as when Greece crowned its great men, its renowned 
poets, its statesmen, its brave soldiers, and the victors 
of the Olympic games, with wreaths of honor, we would 
with hands trembling for joy place upon your venerable 
head a wreath of honor, for there is none more worthy 
to wear it. 

For forty years, Doctor Armitage, you have been the 
pastor of this noble branch of God's Zion, united with 
your people in love and Christian zeal, toiling hand in 
hand, and have wrought a work in the Master's vine- 
yard that has been one among the grandest in Baptist 
history. 

Yet, although we look upon ourselves as the least 
among your children, we know that you need not be 
ashamed of us. In the ten years since you and your 
dear people blessed us as a church, we have gained over 
five hundred souls for Christ. 

Let me say in conclusion that we pray God to bless 
you, doctor, to add many years to your life full of joy 
and peace, and to crown you with abundant success in 
the future as he has in the past. 

Hon. Thomas C. Acton spoke a few words with 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 133 

an energy that greatly delighted the audience. He 
said : 

I went to the Pacific coast many years ago and I was 
taken for a Baptist minister, and then for a Methodist 
minister, but this is the first opportunity I have ever had 
of speaking from a pulpit. I have known Doctor Armi- 
tage as a preacher of Christ, and as a patriot — a stanch 
patriot during the war. No better man lives. Though 
he is an unassuming, pleasant gentleman, he has got the 
moral courage to face all evil for a principle. He could 
stand before a gatling gun for his country and not shake. 
God bless you, doctor. 

Gen. Clinton B. Fiske was then introduced, and 
spoke substantially as follows : 

When I heard Doctor Miller announce that he w^as an 
ex-Methodist, that Doctor Armitage was an ex-Methodist, 
and several other illustrious personages were ex-Meth- 
odists, then I knew what gave spirit and power and suc- 
cess to this meeting. I have made a full day of it. I have 
been here and I enjoyed it all day long. This is one of 
my BajDtist days. I came because I love Doctor Armi- 
tage. I have always had a warm side toward Baptists. 
My mother was one of the best Baptist mothers that 
ever breathed. Doctor Armitage had a good Methodist 
mother, and that makes us half-brothers at least. 

I can say to him and to you, God bless him, God bless 
you. We can express no better wish for ourselves, for 
him, or for you and this great church, than that we may 
be a part of the celebration in the life to come, in that 
better life to which Doctor Armitage has so faithfully 
pointed all who have listened to his sermons. 

The chairman then said : 



134 EEMINISCENCES 

We now close the record of the day — the record of the 
history of forty years — with profound admiration and 
gratitude for all that it has brought us. This pulpit has 
had a sweet, true, simple life in it, and you know its re- 
sults. They have been brought beautifully before you 
to-day. "Well done good and faithful servant." Let 
us all rise and sing, ' * Praise God from whom all bless- 
ings flow." 

The benediction was then pronounced by Rev. 
D. Henry Miller, and the fortieth anniversary of 
Doctor Armitage's pastorate came to a close. 



CHAPTER XX 

INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 

ALTHOUGH Doctor Armitage's strict ideas of 
iiis obligations to his own people rarely al- 
lowed him to do service in other churches on the 
Lord's Day, or to invite ministers, either of his own 
or other denominations, to exchange pulpits with 
him, yet his opportunities for social intercourse with 
brethren in the ministry of all the different churches 
were many and frequent. His genial traits of char- 
acter were such that, whether in public meetings or 
social gatherings, few men were more warmly wel- 
comed or more sincerely loved. Forty years of 
steady service in one city pulpit was in itself a test 
of eminent ability, and his profound study of the 
word of God had made him the acknowledged peer 
of any of his ministerial brethren. Noted for fearless 
annunciation of the truth as he understood it, he 
was justly distinguished for his broad charitableness 
and refined, conciliatory manner. These qualities 
endeared him to other denominations as well as to 
his own, therefore it occasioned no surprise that 
Christian ministers of all denominations should de- 
sire to do honor to a ministry such as that of Doctor 
Armitage, or that they should seek an opportunity 

135 



136 REMINISCENCES 

to give expression to their feelings as in the follow- 
ing letter : 

Mr. J. A. BosTAViCK. 

Dear Sir. Understanding that the fortieth anniversary 
of Doctor Armitage's ministry in this city is near at hand, 
we hope it will not seem an intrusion, if we suggest that 
to others, as well as to his own congregation, such an oc- 
casion is a matter of deep interest. He has done so much 
for the general good, as well as to the particular church 
he serves, that we, in common with so many, hold him 
in such high esteem that we shall be glad to hear that 
those who are nearest to him will in some fitting way 
allow us to commemorate these forty years of faithful 
Christian services. 

Very truly yours, 

Thomas Hastings. James M. Ludlow. 

S. M. Hamilton. Wm. M. Taylor. 

C. A. Briggs. C. a. Stoddard. 

John Hall. W. G. T. Shedd. 

Geo. S. Payson. Abbott Kittredge. 

Wendall Prime. T. W. Chambers. 

Howard Crosby. Henry M. Field. 
W. T. Sabine. 

A very courteous response was made by Mr. 
Bostwick on behalf of the trustees and deacons, 
heartily assenting to the service proposed, and 
placing the church edifice at their service. At the 
request of Doctor Hastings, Rev. Dr. H. M. Sanders 
Avas invited to aid in the proposed arrangements. 
The time agreed upon for the services was April 24, 
1888, at 8 p. M. The auditorium was completely 
filled, and a large number of distinguished clergy- 




JABEZ A. BUSTWICK. 



INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 137 

men occupied the platform. Prayer was offered by 
Kev. Charles C. Norton, d. d. An anthem was sung 
by the choir. Doctor Hastings delivered an intro- 
ductory address, saying in part : 

I look up to my friend and brother, Doctor Armitage, 
with mingled respect and affection. When I awoke to 
the idea that he is such a patriarch, I said to myself: 
"Dear me! we have been side by side all these years 
and I have not known how I should reverence him." . . 
I know these Baptists pretty well. I have lived across 
the street from them nineteen years, and know many by 
sight, for they linger about the door under the droppings 
of the sanctuary, holding sweet communion on the side- 
walk, and I have learned their wnys. So the next thing 
that occurred to me was, ''If they have congratulatory 
memorial services, they will have it all to themselves, 
and not let us take a share." I ventured, in a moment 
of forgetfulness, to suggest to a good Baptist brother, "If 
you must have a good time all by yourselves, do try it 
again, and let the representatives of other churches that 
love your minister, come together and share your joy, 
and pay their tribute of congratulation." The sugges- 
tion was kindly received, and because it happened to 
come from me, I am here to-night in this position. . . 
If there is one thing I have particularly liked about Doc- 
tor Armitage, it is this : he knows how to differ with a 
man, and differ like a Christian and like a gentleman. 
He knows what he believes, and why he believes it, and 
he stands by it ! 

Doctor Hastings continued his remarks in a very 
tender, touching strain, calling up many fond recol- 
lections of bygone years. He illustrated the real 
union of all Christians by a view he once had from 



138 reminisce:n'ces 

the summit of Mount Washington. ^^ Before the sun 
had risen it had seemed a solemn, majestic, lonely- 
peak, but when the great orb of day had dispersed the 
obscuring mists, it was found to be but one of a con- 
nected chain of mountains, all having a single base/' 
He concluded by saying : " God bless you, my 
brother, and may the shadows lengthen slowly.'' 
Doctor Hastings then introduced Dr. Henry M. 
Sanders, Avho said : 

It is certainly a very gratifying sight, and one most 
pleasing to Doctor Armitage, to see here so many and so 
distinguished representatives of other denominations, 
and I question whether the spectacle afforded him last 
Sunday, when so many of his brethren more closely affili- 
ated with him in ecclesiastical ties crowded this church, 
gratifying as it must have been, was any more so than 
what he witnesses to-night. . . If we were called upon 
to express any one characteristic of Doctor Armitage we 
should come nearest to unanimity in saying, ' ' aflfection- 
ateness." Any of us who have received a letter from 
him in the well-known chirography (with penmanship so 
legible that it indicated the sincerity and transparency 
of his own character) as we came to the close and read, 
''Yours, affectionately, Thomas Armitage," have felt the 
throb of the heart-beat in those words. 

Doctor Sanders then read letters from Bishop 
Henry C. Potter, Rev. Drs. Chambers, William M. 
Taylor, William T. Sabine, and Lyman Abbott, re- 
gretting their enforced absence, and expressing the 
most affectionate sympathy with the object of the 
meeting. Doctor Hastings then introduced succes- 



INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 139 

sively Dr. J. M. Buckley, editor of the "Christian 
Advocate/^ a Methodist journal ; Dr. J. M. King, rep- 
resenting a Methodist pulpit ; Rev. Chas. F. Deems, 
of no denomination or of all denominations, then 
pastor of the Church of the Strangers, and Dr. John 
Hall, each of whom delivered addresses more than 
worthy to be reported in full, but meagre excerpts 
must suffice. Doctor Buckley said : 

Doctor Armitage received his original impulse in the 
Methodist denomination. He justifies his change upon 
the ground that as his mind unfolded and he thought for 
himself, he saw that his environment was not in perfect 
harmony with the internal condition. For that reason 
he changed. Such a change is an honest one. He de- 
parted, but he left behind him love and esteem. He was 
a man of convictions, and being an able man, he became 
a power among his new people. 

Dr. James M. King said : 

I want to pay my tribute to Doctor Armitage for his 
intense denominationalism, not offensive, narrow sec- 
tarianism, but intense denominationalism ! I love my 
family better than any other man's family, but I have, 
because of the intensity of my love for those who belong 
to me in sacred relationship, all the broader and ten- 
derer feelings toward the families of others. 

Dr. Charles F. Deems said : 

When there is one in our midst who for forty years has 
been pointing the way to heaven and leading men away 
from sin, I stand before the fact wdth reverence. . . 
Doctor Armitage may pass away, and the special words 



140 REMINISCENCES 

he has uttered may have fallen upon the last ear that 
shall receive them ; his books even, having done their 
work, may be relegated to the library of the curiosities of 
past literature, but the influence of his earnest Christian 
ministry will live. . . A man may take up any printed 
page of Thomas Armitage and pick a flaw in this sen- 
tence, or a mistake in that ; but there is not a man who 
has known his career who will not feel that that is an 
argument for the truth of Christianity more convincing 
than any syllogism that ever was written. 

Before introducing the next speaker, the chairman, 
Doctor Hastings, related the following story : 

My devoted colleague, Doctor Shedd, seldom indulges 
in anecdote, but I have heard him tell this story with a 
great deal of humor. He was waiting on one of our 
wharves for an incoming steamer and overheard two 
'longshoremen talking together. One said : "Jack, I am 
going next Sunday to hear Ward Beecher." 

"Why ! who is Ward Beecher ?" asked the other. 

"Why don't you know who Ward Beecher is ? " 

"No, I never heard of him before." 

The other said, " He is a Baptist." 

Doctor Shedd stopped and looked at the men, saying : 
" Are you sure that Ward Beecher is a Baptist? " 

"Yes, sir, I know it," was the reply. 

"Well," said Doctor Shedd, "I think you are mis- 
taken." 

"Well," was the reply, "he is a peculiar kind of a 
Baptist. He is what they sometimes call, I think, a 
Pedobaptist." 

We shall now hear from a large representative of the 
Pedobaptists, Dr. John Hall. 

Dr. Hall said: 



INTERDENOMINATIONAL SERVICES 141 

I have had the opportunity to know Doctor Armitage 
and have had the same estimate of him that has been 
held by my brethren : that he was a true Christian gen- 
tleman, a genuine godly minister, in the truest sense a 
good neighbor, and that he could be counted upon as a 
brother upon whose sympatliy and practical assistance 
one could always rely. . . He has been kind enough to 
permit me to speak from the pulpit to his people here, 
and I feel sure that a man so conscientious would not 
have done so if he had not had a general belief that I 
would try to preach the truth. 

The chairman then said : " Now, I think we can 
fitly close our service with that grand old hymn — 

''Blest be the tie that binds 
Our hearts in Christian love." 

After the hymn had been sung Doctor Armitage 
said : 

I offer my thanks to you, dear friends, for your pres- 
ence, and to my own church for their appreciation, and 
for all they have done to make these services and those 
of last Sunday, so happy. . . To-morrow night my own 
church and congregation will please meet me in this 
place. I shall have communications to make with refer- 
ence to the future, and I want to take leave of you by a 
shake of the hand and a touch of the heart, because I 
shall be standing on the deck of a vessel on Saturday 
morning next, and will be absent until the coming 
October. 

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of 
God our heavenly Father, and the fellowship of the Holy 
Spirit, abide with us forever. Amen. 



142 REMINISCENCES 

Thus closed the public services connected with 
the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of Doctor 
Armitage's pastorate in the Fifth Avenue Baptist 
Church. 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH (CONTINUED) 

DOCTOR Armitage's Resignation. — The no- 
tice given by Doctor Armitage that he would 
present a communication to the church at its next 
regular meeting (on the evening of May 25) which 
would largely affect its future interest, drew to- 
gether a large congregation. After the meeting 
was opened, Doctor Armitage read a paper, the sub- 
stance of which was as follows : 

No. 2 West Forty-sixth Street, 
New York, April 25, 1888. 
To the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church. 

My Beloved Brethren : On March 28 I asked you 
to grant me an absence from pastoral work until October 
next, for procuring the rest which years of unbroken 
labor now demand. This request you referred with 
power to the united Board of deacons and trustees, who 
have unanimously granted the petition, and I hope to 
leave for Europe on the 28th inst. On returning in 
October, I shall have entered upon the seventieth year 
of my age. . . For several years I have cherished the 
hope that at the close of my fortieth year as pastor with 
you, the tranquillity which man commonly needs and 
craves at three-score years and ten, might be granted to 
me. In the year 1889, I shall have been a pastor for 
fifty years, and I would like to spend the rest of my days 

143 



144 REMINISCENCES 

in the quiet and moderate pursuit of such Uterary work 
as cannot be well done together with the heavy duties 
which my pastoral responsibilities impose. These views 
have been fully expressed to several officers of the 
church. . . The deacons and trustees have kindly con- 
sulted with me concerning my wishes, and have ad- 
dressed to me these touching words : ''Beloved as you 
have been and are, so you shall remain. You are re- 
vered as father, brother, counselor, and guide ; and 
sympathies born of so many years, and intertwined with 
so many memories of joy and sorrow, cannot be broken 
now. We propose, therefore, to place you in such inti- 
mate relations to us as will secure to you larger leisure 
for studies, in which you have shown peculiar aptitude, 
by freeing you from the exactions of weekly service in 
the pulpit, and the demands inseparably connected with 
a large Metropolitan pastorate. This will separate you 
from your accustomed labor, but not from us." . . 
They also say in regard to my support, "Pastor, dis- 
miss all care on that subject, and leave yourself in the 
hands of your life-long friends." Not another word is 
needful from them on that point, and all anxiety on my 
part would be superfluous. . . Long pastorates are de- 
sirable for many reasons ; but there is a time for them 
to cease, lest feebleness and retrogression ensue. . . 
When I accepted the office of pastor, in 1848, it was on 
the condition, that when either party desired the disso- 
lution of the pastoral relation, three months' notice 
should be given to the other party. 

Therefore I now tender my resignation to take efifect 
January 1, 1889. 

This letter, so unexpected to nearly every one 
present, was listened to in almost painful silence, 
and but for the positive terms in which it was 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 145 

couched, might have been refused. It was, how- 
ever, the result of careful consultation on the part 
of Doctor Armitage with true and tried friends of 
himself and the church, and this was made evident 
in an address by Mr. Bostwick, showing that 

This communication from the pastor had been deter- 
mined upon after the most kindly conferences between 
himself and the joint committee . . . and had, in every 
particular, the unanimous endorsement of both deacons 
and trustees. . . At the same time, it is mutually un- 
derstood that in no case do we consent that his name 
and presence shall be taken from this church, or that he 
shall ever be the pastor of another. We want him with 
us so long as he shall live, and that he may never feel 
the necessity of undue labor, it is arranged that he shall 
receive an income as long as he lives, sufficient for his 
necessities. The arrangements regarding this are being 
perfected, and will be fully reported to you hereafter. 

Mr. Bostwick concluded by asking that the whole 
of this important matter should receive the most 
careful consideration on the part of the church ; and 
that the communication received from the pastor 
should be considered in the same loving spirit in 
which it was submitted. He suggested, however, that 
no final action should be taken at this time, but that 
the whole subject be referred to the joint committee. 

After several kind addresses had been made, the 
reference was moved and adopted. 

Doctor Armitage's Resignation Accepted. 
— At an adjourned business meeting of the church. 



146 REMINISCENCES 

held May 30, Mr. Bostwick presiding, the following 
report from the joint Board of deacons and trustees 
was presented and adopted : 

The committee to which was referred the resignation 
of Doctor Armitage, as pastor of the Fifth Avenue Bap- 
tist Church, beg leave to report, that after careful deliber- 
ation and earnest examination of all the reasons assigned 
for the action taken by the pastor, and in compliance 
with his own personally expressed desire, they have 
unanimously agreed to recommend to the church, that 
the resignation of Doctor Armitage, as pastor of the 
church, be accepted. 

[Signed] J. A. Bostwick, Chairman, 

H. W. Fish, Secretary. 

Deacon L. M. Lawson then offered a preamble 
and resolutions. The former paid a glowing, but 
well-merited, tribute to Doctor Armitage's life, char- 
acter, and ministry, during his forty years' pastor- 
ate. The latter, the resolutions, which were unani- 
mously adopted, are as follows : 

Resolved, First. That the church accept the resignation 
of Rev. Thomas Armitage, d. d., of the office of pastor, 
to take effect on the first day of January, 1889. 

Second. That we extend to him our sincere desire that 
he may be blessed and preserved in his temporary 
absence ; and that, with all our hearts, we wish him 
God-speed and a safe return, in perfect health, and that 
he carry with him the assurance of our united and un- 
bro ken esteem.^ 

1 Doctor Armitage died January 20, 1896. His body rests 
in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. 



CHAPTER XXII 

THE FIFTH AVENUE CHUKCH (CONTINUED) 

SETTLEMENT of Doctor Faunce.— Having 
traced the history of the Fifth Avenue Church 
from its organization in 1841 through the pastorate 
of George Benedict and Thomas Armitage, through 
its career of twenty-one years in Norfolk Street, 
and its subsequent one of thirty years in Forty- 
sixth Street, closing with the resignation of Doc- 
tor Armitage, it seems unnecessary to continue it 
further than to record the circumstances that led 
to the unanimous call extended to Rev. W. H. 
P. Faunce — then pastor of State Street Baptist 
Church in Springfield, Mass. — to become his suc- 
cessor. These circumstances were as follows: Im- 
mediately after action had been taken on the resig- 
nation of Doctor Armitage the church appointed a 
committee, consisting of all the deacons and trustees, 
to act as a joint Board, with instructions to seek an 
earnest, able, and devoted minister of Christ, suit- 
able to succeed Doctor Armitage in the pastorate, 
and when, in their judgment, they should find such 
a man, to report to the church. The committee — 
consisting of George H. Hansell, Benjamin F. Jud- 
son, James D. Reid, John F. Comey, Horace W. 

147 



148 EEMINISCENCES 

Fish, and Walter T. Pell, of the Board of Deacons ; 
and Jabez A. Bostwick, William Bockefeller, AVal- 
ter N. Wood, John D. Rockefeller, D. W. Man- 
waring, Charles L. Colby, George N. Curtis, John 
F. Comey, and John F. Plummer, of the Board of 
Trustees — organized for their work .by electing 
Jabez A. Bostwick (the president of the Board of 
Trustees) chairman, and Horace W. Fish (secretary 
of the Board of Deacons) secretary. These brethren 
applied themselves assiduously to the work entrusted 
to them by the church, spending much time and 
making many visits to distant cities to hear different 
ministers whose names had been suggested or had 
occurred to them as likely to meet the requirements 
of the church, taking especial care that such minis- 
ters should be heard twice at least by two or three 
members of the committee. These efforts were 
prayerfully and faithfully continued, with scarcely 
a week's intermission, until on July 10, 1889, they 
were able to present a report to the church, signed 
by all save one of their number, recommending that 
an invitation be extended to Rev. W. H. P. Faunce, 
of Springfield, Mass., to become its pastor. The 
report was adopted, and the invitation was extended 
by a unanimous vote. After a short time Mr. 
Faunce responded, accepting the call, and at the 
midweek meeting held in the lecture room on 
Wednesday evening, October 13, 1889, he was 
introduced to the audience by the senior deacon, 
George H. Hansell, and entered at once upon his 



THE FIFTH AVENUE CHURCH 14i) 

pastoral work. The next Communion Sunday the 
hand of church-fellowship was extended to him by 
Edward Bright, D. D., on behalf of the church, 
and he was thus publicly welcomed and installed as 
its pastor. In this position his ministry has borne, 
and is still bearing, distinguishing marks of the 
divine approval and blessing. 

Above his tomb in St. PauFs Cathedral, London, 
there are inscribed in Latin these words, referring 
to Sir Christopher Wren : 

"If you would see his monument, look around 
you!" 

May the day be far distant when Dr. W. H. P. 
Faunce shall need a monument, but to any visitor 
to the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church who shall ask 
aught concerning the present success and promise 
of his ministry the response may well be : " Look 
around you ! '' ^ 

1 Since these words were written Doctor Faunce has received 
and accepted a call to become President of Brown University. 
Reluctantly the church has given its consent and will pray for 
the largest success as educator of one who has been so pre-emi- 
nently useful as a pastor. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

THE FIRST CHURCH FROM 1841 TO 1897, AND 
OTHER CHURCHES 

DOCTOR CONE'S pastorate with the First 
Church, in Broome Street, began in 1841 and 
continued until his death, which occurred in the 
summer of 1855. During the first few years pros- 
perity and perfect harmony prevailed, and the per- 
sonal relations between the pastor and those who 
came from Gold Street and those w^ho followed him 
from Oliver Street, were all that could be wished. 
Prominent among the former were Deacons William 
Cooper and William Hillman, whose fidelity to the 
pastor and solicitude for the welfare of the church 
never faltered. Wise in counsel, firm in their con- 
victions, and conservative in their views of church 
order and discipline, few men have used the office 
they held more effectively, especially in holding the 
church together during the long time that they were 
without a pastor. Deacon Hillman survived Doctor 
Cone several years. In a funeral address, his pas- 
tor. Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Anderson, alluding to 
Deacon Hillman's long official career, used the fol- 
lowing appropriate words, "As a young man, he 
walked with William Parkinson; as a peer, with 

150 



THE FIKST CHUKCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 151 

Spencer H. Cone; as a father, with Kingman 
Nott.^^ 

Among those who followed Doctor Cone from 
Oliver Street were some who afterward arrayed 
themselves against him and caused him deep sor- 
row. Doctor Cone was president of the American 
Bible Union ; and here in the First Church (as in 
the Fifth Avenue Church when in Norfolk Street), 
the Revision movement was the burning question of 
the day. Here also, as there, it led to bitter dissen- 
sions and open quarrels, then to exclusion of mem- 
bers, an ex parte council, and the withdrawal of 
fellowship from a sister church which had received 
these excluded members on the advice of said coun- 
cil. The unhappy breach thus begun continued 
until about the year 1870; when the chief actors 
having passed on to a world where dissensions 
never come — the survivors got tired of living apart, 
and each church that had disfellowshiped another, 
rescinded its action, and the two Baptist Associa- 
tions to which the estranged parties had respectively 
belonged were united, and became The Southern 
New York Baptist Association, since which time 
the churches of our Baptist "Zion^' have been 
" one and inseparable,'^ and hope to be so ^^ now 
and forever.'^ 

After the death of Doctor Cone, the church was 
without a pastor about two years, when it called 
Rev. A. Kingman Nott, a young man of superior 
gifts and devoted piety. He won the hearts of the 



152 REMINISCENCES 

people at once, and during his short ministry bap- 
tized between one hundred and two hundred con- 
verts, including many men advanced in years who 
had sat under the preaching of William Parkinson 
and Spencer H. Cone for more than a score of years, 
seemingly unmoved. 

It was the lot of this much-loved young servant 
of Christ to do a great work for his Lord in a short 
time. In May, 1859 the New York Baptist Asso- 
ciation, to w^iich the First Church belonged, met at 
Graniteville, S. I. Young Nott preached by ap- 
pointment the annual sermon, which was listened to 
w^ith absorbing interest. He was then in excellent 
health and seemingly had the promise of an ex- 
tended as well as useful service. But w^e know 
little Avhat is before us. On the following July, 
w^hile on a visit to some relatives, he was drowned 
while bathing. As he was known to be a good 
swimmer it is supposed that he was seized with 
cramps. The Lord gave him to the church for a 
while and then took him to himself, deeply mourned 
by all ; his sudden death came to the church and 
congregation to which he ministered as an over- 
whelming sorrow. 

After the death of their lamented young pastor 
the First Church called Thomas D. Anderson, d. d. 
as pastor. Doctor Anderson was a man of fine 
presence, highly polished manners, a very able 
preacher, and a deservedly popular man, not only 
in his own, but among all Christians denominations. 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 1 53 

During his pastorate the church sold its property in 
Broome Street and removed to Thirty-ninth Street 
and Park Avenue, where an elegant edifice was 
erected in which was placed an open marble bap- 
tistery, said to have cost one thousand dollars, a 
present to the church. Doctor Anderson resigned 
the pastorate of the church to accept a call from a 
church in South Boston, Mass. He was little past 
the meridian of life, when he was called to his man- 
sion above. 

The next pastor in the First Church was John 
Peddie, d. d. He was called from the Second 
Church of Chicago, and though his pastorate was 
short, by his winning personality and earnest man- 
ner he made many friends. He resigned to accept 
the pastorate of the Fifth Baptist Church of Phila- 
delphia. On his resignation the church extended 
a call to Rev. I. M. Haldeman, its present pastor, 
whose acceptance inaugurated an era of great suc- 
cess. 

In 1890 the church sold the property on Thirty- 
ninth Street and Park Avenue for two hundred and 
twenty thousand dollars, and shortly afterward hired 
the use of All Angel's Chapel, where the congrega- 
tion worshiped until they entered the lecture room 
of the elegant edifice on the corner of Boulevard 
and Seventy-ninth Street, which they now occupy. 
This church has had many noble workers who have 
passed on to the unseen land, including two genera- 
tions of the Hillmans, the Durbrows, the Todds, 



154 REMINISCENCES 

the Hayes, and the widely known and venerated 
deacon, Joseph Brokaw. In this church too, Dea- 
con Smith Sheldon, well known as the head of the 
large publishing house of Sheldon & Company, and 
as an active manager in nearly all our denomina- 
tional societies, spent the latest years of his euer- 
getic and busy life, having previously served as a 
deacon in the Tabernacle and the Madison Avenue 
Churches. Among its present leaders are many 
besides its pastor, " whose works praise them." 
Mr. Haldeman preaches to large and delighted 
audiences, who with common consent, ascribe to 
him not only eminent talent, but something rarer 
still, genius. The present membership of the 
church is four hundred and sixty-five. 

A brief mention of New York Baptist churches 
of an early date which have been hitherto over- 
looked, and an equally brief record of those which 
have been organized in later years, must serve to 
bring these reminiscences to a close. Of the 
churches that have been omitted, the Sixth Street 
Church is the first that should be noticed. This 
church was organized February 15, 1840. Its first 
meeting-house was in Sixth Street, not far from the 
East River, and its first pastor was Rev. John O. 
Choules. Among the pastors who succeeded him 
were Revs. John T. Seeley, C. Billings Smith, Lem- 
uel Covell, Chas. C. Norton, E. F. Crane, James 
Dubois, Henry Angell, and Daniel C. Potter. Rev. 
John T. Seeley, the second pastor of the church, re- 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 155 

signed his charge in 1852 after having done a good 
work. He had a loving, genial disposition, and his 
removal to another field of labor was greatly re- 
gretted. It was during Mr. Seeley^s pastorate that 
the new meeting-house was erected, and it was 
mainly due to his exertions and wise direction tliat 
the building enterprise was accomplished. It has 
more than once been noticed that a minister's suc- 
cess in building a new house of worship has been 
quickly followed by his resignation of the pastorate. 
Why ? Let those answer who can. The fact is 
undeniable. After the brief pastorate of Rev. C. 
Billings Smith and Rev. Lemuel Covell, one year 
each, Rev. Chas. C. Norton served the church eight 
years with great success. He then resigned to ac- 
cept the call of the Yorkville (afterward Eighty- 
third Street and now Central Park) Baptist Church, 
where he labored nearly forty years, until failing 
health compelled him to resign and accept the posi- 
tion of pastor emeritus. He was followed in the 
Sixth Street Church by brethren Crane, Dubois, 
and Angell, already named; and in 1873 by Rev. 
D. C. Potter. In 1885 the church united with the 
Tabernacle Church in Second Avenue, and in 1886 
Doctor Potter's name appears in the Minutes of The 
Southern New York Baptist Association as the pas- 
tor of that church. Doctor Norton has since gone 
to his rest and reward. The present pastor is Rev. 
Harry M. Warren. Present membership two hun- 
dred and thirty-six. 



156 REMINISCENCES 

The Central Church, now located in Forty-second 
Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, was 
organized in 1843 as the Bloomingdale Baptist 
Church. Its first meeting-house was erected on 
the corner of Eighth Avenue and Forty-third Street 
in 1844. Its second pastor was Rev. Stephen Wil- 
kins, a plain, unpolished, but able preacher, who 
accomplished much good, not only in the church to 
which he ministered, but also in aiding his brother 
ministers in special meetings. The Norfolk Street 
Church was his debtor for services of this character. 
The Central Church erected its present house of 
worship in 1863 and assumed its present name in 
1868. This church has had many able ministers, 
among them Isaac Westcott, D. D., J. D. Herr, 
D. D., Henry M. Sanders, D. D., and Rev. W. W. 
AYalker. Its present efficient pastor is Rev. F. M. 
Goodchild. Among its active officers and financial 
helpers have been Richard Mott, Thomas R. Harris, 
and others Vvho have passed away, and James 
Pyle, A. W. Parsons, J. W. Perry, Wm. McBride, 
and others among the living. Its present member- 
ship is five hundred and fifty-five. 

The Memorial Church of Christ, Washington 
Square, South, was organized in 1838 as the Berean 
Baptist Church of the city of New York. It was 
an offshoot of the North Beriah Baptist Church. 
Its first pastor was Aaron Perkins, D. D., and its 
first house of worship Avas a small brick meeting- 
house in King Street, near Yarick. Its constituent 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 157 

members were only twenty-one in number. Doctor 
Perkins served the church six years, and was suc- 
ceeded by John Dowling, D. D. The church now 
moved to a new meeting-house with parsonage 
adjoining. In 1850 Dr. Dowling resigned to be- 
come pastor of a church in Philadelphia. The 
subsequent pastors of the Berean Church were Rev. 
James R. Stone, from 1850 to 1852; Rev. John 
A. McKean, from 1852 to 1855; John Dowling, 
D. D. (second pastorate), from 1856 to 1869; Rev. 
Philip L. Davies, from March, 1870, until his death 
in July, 1875; Rev. Luther G. Barrett, from 1875 
to 1877; Rev. John Quincy Adams, from Novem- 
ber, 1877, until his death, July 27, 1881. 

Edward Judson, d. d., became pastor of the 
Berean Church in October, 1881. The church 
occupied the old meeting-house in Bedford Street 
until February 1, 1891, nearly fifty years from the 
date of its dedication to God. In 1885, a reorgani- 
zation having taken place under the law of May 15, 
1876, the corporate name was changed to The 
Berean Baptist Church of Christ in New York, and 
January 23, 1891 (being about to enter their new 
church edifice on Washington Square), the church 
assumed the name by which it is henceforth to be 
known, The Memorial Baptist Church of Christ in 
New York. The present buildings were erected as 
a memorial of Adoniram Judson, the first American 
Baptist missionary to Burma. The present mem- 
bership is one thousand and seventy-four. Doctor 



1 58 REMINISCENCES 

Judson is doing a varied and vital work, and is 
helping to solve the problem of the downtown 
church. 

Bethesda Baptist Church. When Doctor Parkin- 
son resigned the pastorate of the First Cliurch it 
was — as learned from a friend who had access to 
his papers after his death — his intention to retire 
from the pastoral office, but to continue the cus- 
tomary addresses from the steps of City Hall on 
Sunday afternoons, chiefly to the unconverted. 
Here he sometimes spoke to one thousand people. 
After a while, however, a number of the members 
of the First Church who did not wish to go "up- 
town" — as Broome Street was then considered to 
be — drew off from the parent church and started a 
new interest under the name of Bethesda Church. 
These friends worshiped in a hall in Crosby Street, 
and entreated Doctor Parkinson to become their 
pastor. Their entreaties finally prevailed. This 
pastorate was of short duration. Doctor Parkinson 
was laboring under the weight of years ; his facul- 
ties failed, and he was soon compelled to give up all 
public duties. The church then called Rev. C. J. 
Hopkins. I do not remember how long Mr. Hop- 
kins served the church, but on his resignation, or 
shortly after, the church changed its location to the 
corner of Chrystie and Delancy Streets, and called 
Eev. Mr. Baldwin to become their pastor. What 
followed on Mr. Baldwin's leaving and going to a 
church in another State I do not distinctly remem- 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 159 

ber, but eventually the congregation moved to East 
Twenty-second Street and called Rev. Samuel J. 
Knapp, who, after a successful pastorate of several 
years, was followed by Wm. H. Pendleton, d. d., 
and others. 

The Union Baptist Church, on Fourth Avenue, 
was organized in 1847, and Rev. O. B. Judd became 
pastor. The church was admitted into the Hudson 
River Baptist Association in 1848. In their letter 
to that Association in 1849, they record an increase 
of four by baptism and six by letter, a total mem- 
bership of sixty-two, and general prosperity. This 
year (1849) they secured a permanent place of wor- 
ship. In 1851 they reported to the Association an 
increase of five by baptism and eleven by letter, with 
three dismissals by letter ; total members, seventy- 
five; and that Rev. D. S. Parmely was pastor. 
Their former pastor, Rev. O. B. Judd, had resigned 
for the purpose of editing the New Yo7'k Chronicle, 
During 1852, under Mr. Parmely's pastorate, their 
numbers increased to ninety-two, and in 1853 to 
one hundred and thirty-eight. In 1854, with Mr. 
Parmely still pastor, they report a total of one 
hundred and fifty-one, and speak of an encouraging 
progress financially and spiritually. In 1856, Rev. 
Jay S. Backus, pastor, they report an increase of 
nine ; dismissal by letter, thirty-six ; present num- 
ber, one hundred and twenty-four. They have 
been sorely tried by removals and death, regret the 
removal of their last pastor, and hope to increase 



160 REMINISCENCES 

under their present leader. No letter in 1857. I 
find no record of the Union Baptist Church after 
that date. 

The First Mariners' Baptist Church was organ- 
ized in 1843 as the Baptist Seaman's Bethel. It 
was the outcome of the efforts made by a few mem- 
bers of the North Beriah Baptist Church, led by 
Mrs. C. A. Putnam, a highly gifted and large- 
hearted lady who seemed peculiarly drawn to devise 
something for this class of generous, brave, but 
neglected men. Mr. Isaac Townsend Smith, a son- 
in-law of Mrs. Putnam, agreed to take temporary 
charge of this missionary work, and quickly found 
himself so deeply absorbed in it that he devoted to 
it nine years of his life. A hall was hired in Catha- 
rine Street, near Cherry, where regular preaching 
was soon established. A few years later, the First 
Baptist Meeting-house for Mariners was erected in 
Cherry Street, near Pike, and the work was put in 
charge of Elder Ira R. Steward, a man of deep 
piety and a genius for hard work. His memory is 
still in the hearts of older Baptists in this city. Out 
of this church came our German and Swedish 
missions, both at home and in Europe. Here New 
York Baptists made their first acquaintance with 
John G. Oncken and others who had suffered im- 
prisonment and loss of goods in their own countries 
for the cause of Christ. The church is now located 
in Oliver Street, on the corner of Henry, in the 
house of worship that formerly belonged to the 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 161 

Oliver Street Baptist Church. Here the beloved 
and lamented Avery labored and laid down his life 
for the Master and for seamen. The Mariners' 
Temple, as it is now called, is sacred to the memory 
of Mrs. Nathan Bishop, Deacon William A. Can Id- 
well, and other friends, by whose large contributions 
the work was sustained and enlarged. They have 
gone to labor in a yet higher sphere. But the work 
does not cease when the workmen depart. Wm. M. 
Isaacs and other noble men and women associated 
with him are bearing the burden which others laid 
down. The present pastor of the Mariners' Temple 
is Rev. M. G. Coger, who has but recently entered 
upon his work. The field is a difficult one to cul- 
tivate, and continually becomes more so, but the 
workers have warm hearts and busy hands, and 
Grod is with them. The present membership is two 
hundred and seventeen. 

The Mount Morris Baptist Church, William C. 
Bitting, D. D., pastor, was organized in 1844, as the 
First Baptist Church of Harlem. It was formerly 
much rent by dissensions, but it is happily united 
under its present pastor, and has long been one of 
the most active churches in every department of 
home work, as well as a large contributor to all our 
missionary, educational, and benevolent enterprises. 
From having been heavily in debt, it now, by the 
blessing of God on its truly heroic labors, owns the 
beautiful church edifice on Fifth Avenue, near One 
Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street, where large 



162 REMIN ISCENCES 

audiences listen regularly to the earnest, pungent 
preaching of the pastor, and the ingathering of souls 
is large and continuous. Among the noble men 
who have helped to bear the " burden and heat of 
the day ^^ in this church, who have been with it 
through good and evil report, it is pleasant to record 
the names of Dr. T. Franklyn Smith, Stephen H. 
Burr, Edward S. Clinch, Jed E. Adams, and other 
faithful soldiers, ever found "with the harness on" 
The total membership is one thousand and seventy- 
three. 

The Central Park Baptist Church, East Eighty- 
third Street, was constituted as the Yorkville Bap- 
tist Church, in 1854. Among its first pastors was 
Rev. Joseph Ballard, once well known in this city 
as a member of the firm of Colby & Ballard, pub- 
lishers of " The New York Recorder." This is where 
the late Rev. Charles C. Norton, d. d., preached for 
nearly forty years. It is now under the pastoral 
care of Rev. Harry M. Warren. It is the second 
church that has borne the same name. The first 
was in West Fifty-third Street, Rev. Peter F. 
Jones, pastor, and was disbanded in 1859, when 
forty-three of its members deposited their letters 
with the Fifth Avenue (then Norfolk Street) Church. 
The late J. L. Hodge, d. d., also served this church 
several years. The present membership is two hun- 
dred and thirty-six. 

The Ascension Baptist Church was organized in 
May, 1864, under the name of The Trustees of the 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 163 

Melrose Mission Baptist Society. It was under the 
care of Rev. J. Ferris Patton, a Baptist, then in the 
employ of the trustees. It assumed its present 
name in 1887, and is now under the pastoral care 
of Rev. Mitchell Bronk. The membership is one 
hundred and three. 

The People's Baptist Church was organized as 
the Fifty-third Street People's Church, in 1881. 
It assumed its present name March 28, 1884, and 
now worships in West Forty-seventh Street, near 
Ninth Avenue. 

Hope Baptist Church, corner of One Hundred 
and Fourth Street and Boulevard, was organized 
June 9, 1885, Rev. Richard Hartley, pastor, as 
the Laight Street Baptist Church. It assumed its 
present name January 8, 1889. The Laight Street 
Church, organized in 1885, was the second church 
of that name. The first Laight Street Baptist 
Church was founded in 1842 or 1843, and its first 
pastor was W. W. Everts. The membership is two 
hundred and sixty-eight. 

The Emmanuel Baptist Church, Suffolk Street, 
near Grand, was organized in 1873, as the Second 
Baptist Mission Church, Rev. Samuel Alman, pas- 
tor. The first meetings of this body were held in a 
loft in the upper part of Madison or Monroe Street. 
Brother Alman, a son of Abraham after the flesh, 
after cruising around the world as a sailor, had 
been converted, and united by baptism with the 
Central Park Church, Rev. C. C. Norton, pastor. 



164 REMINISCENCES 

He had made the acquaintance of the late Deacon 
Benj. F. Judson, of the Fifth Avenue Baptist 
Church, who introduced him to the late Mr. J. A. 
Bostwick, who kindly pledged one thousand two 
hundred dollars to pay Mr. Alman's salary, as a 
missionary, for one year. It was a hard field where 
he began his work, and the policeman stationed 
there often failed to keep order; but Mr. Alman 
was equal to the emergency. He took the work of 
keeping the peace into his own hands, and so effect- 
ively, that the roughs soon learned to let him and 
his congregation alone. After a while the mission 
was removed to Grand Street, corner of Clinton 
Street, then to Grand, corner of Allen Street, then 
to Stanton Street. Large audiences collected, and 
conversions were frequent. Mr. Bostwick's interest 
in Mr. Alman and his work increased, until he felt 
constrained to erect and equip the house of worship 
in Suffolk Street, near Grand, where the church is 
still maintained under the supervision of the Fifth 
Avenue Baptist Church, to which Mr. Bostwick 
deeded the property in trust, on the condition that a 
Baptist church shall be sustained there, or in that 
vicinity, for fifty years, at the expiration of which 
time the Fifth Avenue Church becomes absolute 
owner of the property. This munificent gift cost in 
the first outlay ninety-five thousand dollars, which 
sum was continually supplemented by the donor, 
until it took the shape of an endowment, to be ad- 
ministered by the trustees of the Fifth Avenue 





E"'^, V ** 


^^ 


.fli V 


1^ 


■jTjIp 




^^ 



dt-:acon benj. r. judson. 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 165 

Church. Since Mr. Bostwick^s death, Mrs. Bost- 
wick has manifested her deep interest in Mr. Alman 
and his work, by liberal benefactions. Some two 
years ago, Mr. Alman lost the use of his voice, and 
was obliged to leave the city to obtain professional 
treatment. Although he returned to the field and 
again occupied his pulpit, the improvement was of 
short duration, and he has been compelled to retire 
permanently from the ministry, to his great disap- 
pointment and the regret of all his friends. 

During Mr. Alman's absence, the trustees of the 
Fifth Avenue Church engaged the services of Mr. 
Samuel Colgate, Jr., w^ho had just given himself to 
the gospel ministry, and whose heart's desire was to 
spend his life laboring among the poor. He entered 
this field with strong hopes, but soon was overtaken 
by a severe illness which for a long time threatened 
his life. Although his life was graciously spared, 
his return to his wonted work was made impossible 
by his change of denominational views. Rev. Mr. 
Murch was next engaged on the field, which posi- 
tion he occupied until Mr. Alman returned. At 
present, the trustees are looking for a pastor for 
the Emmanuel Church, the membership of which 
is one hundred and forty-five. 

The Tremont Baptist Church, Rev. Jonathan 
Barstow, pastor, was organized in 1884. Mr. Bar- 
stow has spent five years on this field. The church 
has one hundred and thirty-one members, of whom 
nine were baptized during 1898. A good work is 



166 REMINISCENCES 

being quietly done, the membership being one hun- 
dred and forty-one. 

The Lexington Avenue Baptist Church, corner of 
One Hundred and Eleventh Street, J. L. Camp- 
bell, D. D., pastor, was organized in 1867 as the 
Second Baptist Church of Harlem, and was for 
several years under the pastoral care of the late 
Halsey Moore, d. d., under whose ministry a large 
church was gathered. Dr. Campbell's pastorate 
began in 1888, and the church has now (1898) 
nine hundred members. The pastor is greatly be- 
loved, and the church is united and prosperous. 

The Alexander Avenue Baptist Church, corner 
of One Hundred and Forty-first Street, was organ- 
ized in 1872 as the First Baptist Church of North 
New York. It assumed its present name in De- 
cember, 1888. The location is very pleasant, but 
they sadly need a new church edifice. This church 
has had many able pastors and efficient laymen who 
have done good w^ork. Several of the latter, among 
whom were Deacons Peck and Carley, have passed 
on to their reward. When the church was without 
a pastor its pulpit was frequently supplied by mem- 
bers of the Baptist Lay-preaching Association. 
Among its earlier pastors, the writer remembers 
Rev. Messrs. Castle, Scott, and Hudson, all able 
ministers of Jesus Christ. The present member- 
ship is three hundred and twenty-seven. 

The Grace Baptist Church was organized in 1885. 
There have been two churches with that name. The 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 167 



first originated in the departure of a few members 
of the Pilgrim Baptist Church, in West Thirty-third 
Street, led by Kev. J. Spencer Kennard the pastor, 
but the enterprise proved a failure, and the body 
disbanded in about a year. The Second Grace 
Church was ably and heroically led by T. K. Gess- 
ler, D. D., for about eleven years, first meeting in a 
church edifice on Ninety-third Street, between Lex- 
ington and Park Avenues, and afterward for several 
years in St. Nicholas Avenue, but the struggle was 
too great even for one possessing Doctor Gessler^s 
courage. In 1896, in its last annual letter to the 
Association, the church reported a membership of 
one hundred and twelve residents and nineteen non- 
residents, six of the former having been baptized 
during the preceding year. In 1897 the church 
abandoned the effort to maintain a separate exist- 
ence and cast in its lot with the Washington Heights 
Baptist Church. This was done by authorizing 
their church clerk to issue individual letters to all 
who desired to unite with that church. Forty-three 
did so. 

The Baptist Church of the Redeemer, West One 
Hundred and Thirty-first Street, between Lenox and 
Seventh Avenues, was organized in 1883. It re- 
ports to the Association, in 1897, two hundred and 
eighty-one members, of whom eighteen were received 
by baptism and fifteen by letter during that year. 
The church feels deeply the loss of their pastor, 
Rev. E. E. Knapp, who has resigned, feeling him- 



168 REMINISCENCES 

self called to engage in evangelistic labor. At the 
same time they give a hearty welcome to Rev. W. 
Frank St. John their present pastor. The present 
membership is two hundred and ninety. 

Trinity Church, East Fifty-fifth Street, near Lex- 
ington Avenue, Rev. James W. Putnam, pastor. 
This church was organized as a Baptist church in 
1857. The church edifice was formerly owned by 
another denomination, but for some reason came to 
be for sale. The late Rev. Sidney A. Corey who 
had Qi penchant for dealing in church real estate, be- 
lieving it was a good location for a Baptist church, 
became the purchaser. But the property changed 
hands more than once and many years elapsed ere 
these expectations were realized. Among the early 
pastors of this church were Rev. J. S. Holme and 
Rev. James B. Simmons. During the pastorate of 
Doctor Simmons, a great work was done for our 
Chinese brethren through the labors of Mrs. Carto, 
who was sustained in part by the City Baptist Mis- 
sion, as its missionary to that people, visiting them 
at their laundries, where she was always joyfully 
received. Trinity Church became through her a 
Chinese home where she entertained many China- 
men and taught them on Sunday afternoons and 
provided them with tea, thus securing further op- 
portunity for instruction and likewise their presence 
at the evening service. Mrs. Carto was the widow 
of a Baptist minister in California, and began her 
work for this people on the Pacific slope, finishing 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 169 

it in this city. She still lives, honored and be- 
loved, but too enfeebled for active labor. Many of 
those whom she won to Christ are now telling the 
story of the cross in their own country. The total 
membership is one hundred. This church has just 
(1899) sold its property and united with the Baptist 
Church of the Epiphany. 

Morningside Church. This church is situated on 
One Hundred and Sixteenth Street between Seventh 
and Eighth Avenues, and has Rev. D. A. Mac- 
Murray for its pastor. It was organized in 1894, 
and has one hundred and twenty-two resident 
and thirty-eight non-resident members, of whom 
eleven were baptized and twenty-two received by 
letter during the year 1897. It has had but one 
pastor, the present one. The present membership 
is one hundred and sixty-six. 

Riverside Church. This church is situated at 
Ninety-second Street, corner of Amsterdam Avenue, 
Rev. James A. Francis, pastor. It was organized 
in 1879. The church and congregation have erected 
a beautiful and convenient house of worship. To 
help them pay for the same, the New York City 
Baptist Mission Society pledged to them ten thou- 
sand dollars, of which amount six thousand five 
hundred dollars had been paid, and the balance is 
expected the present year. The church has a mem- 
bership of two hundred and seventy-seven. Mr. 
Francis was the fourth pastor , and had faithfully 
served the church six years, when he resigned to 



170 REMINISCENCES 

take charge of the newly formed Second Avenue 
Baptist Church, in Second Avenue, between Tenth 
and Eleventh Streets, where he is doing a good 
work. Shortly after his resignation, Riverside 
Church was successful in securing the services of 
Rev. Robert Bruce Smith, who is laboring with 
great success. The general interests of the church 
are hopeful and conversions are occurring con- 
stantly. 

The Beth Eden Church. This church, located on 
Lorillard Avenue, was organized in 1881. It has 
seventy-six resident and eleven non-resident mem- 
bers. Its first pastor was Rev. J. B. English. He 
resigned in 1897 to accept a call from a church in 
De Land, Florida, and was succeeded by Rev. W. F. 
Johnson. The membership is ninety-three. 

The Mount Gilead Church. This church is situ- 
ated at 104 East One Hundred and Twenty-sixth 
Street, with Rev. B. W. Walker as pastor. It was or- 
ganized in 1891. It had two hundred members, of 
whom fourteen were baptized in 1897. No report 
in 1898. 

Sharon Church, Eighty-ninth Street, corner of 
Park Avenue. Rev. G. W. Bailey, pastor, reports 
one hundred and seventy-nine members. 

The Mount Olivet Church. This church, Fifty- 
third Street, near Eighth Avenue, Rev. Daniel W. 
Wisher, pastor, has had a truly marvelous history. 
It was organized in 1878 with about twenty mem- 
bers, and in 1897 it reported a membership of one 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 171 

thousand four hundred and seventy-two. It has 
had but one pastor during these years; has raised 
and paid for current expenses during the past year 
four thousand seven hundred and fifty-two dollars, 
and for repairs and improvements on church prop- 
erty five thousand one hundred and forty-one dol- 
lars, making a total expenditure of nine thousand 
eight hundred and ninety-three dollars. The esti- 
mated value of their church property is one hun- 
dred and thirty thousand dollars, subject to a mort- 
gage of ten thousand five hundred dollars and a 
floating debt of six hundred dollars, leavmg them 
an equity in their property of one hundred and 
eighteen thousand nine hundred dollars. The re- 
sults exhibited have grown, under the blessing of 
God, out of the following circumstances, viz : About 
twenty years ago a few members of the Fifth 
Avenue Baptist Church went on invitation, on 
Sunday afternoons, to talk to a small congregation 
of colored friends in an upper room in West Twenty- 
sixth Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. 
Among these brethren was the late Sydney Root, of 
Atlanta, Ga., who, having lived in the South, took 
great interest in her children of African descent. 
Mr. Root gained the entire confidence of the colored 
friends at once, and soon learned that the majority 
of them were members of Baptist churches in the 
South, but, these churches having disbanded or 
scattered during the Civil War, they did not know 
how to procure letters of dismission. After much 



172 REMINISCENCES 

correspondence with friends at the South, Mr. Root 
succeeded in obtaining good letters for nineteen of 
the number, who were shortly afterw^ard constituted 
and recognized as a regular and independent Baptist 
church, and called Mr. Wisher to become their pas- 
tor, at a salary of twenty dollars a month. As this 
was all they were able to pay. Brother Wisher was 
forced to eke out a living by plying his calling as a 
whitewasher. A better mutual arrangement could 
not have been made. The little church stood nobly 
by their pastor; the pastor was laboriously devoted 
to his church, and the divine blessing followed him 
in both his sacred and secular calling so long as 
the latter continued to be necessary, which neces- 
sity ceased many years ago. Mr. Wisher has been 
ably assisted in church affairs by a faithful Board 
of deacons, and in the management of financial 
affairs by an able Board of trustees composed in part 
of white brethren from other churches, and has thus 
been free to give himself to prayer, the ministry of 
the word, and the culture of his mind, in which, as 
all who have listened to him in the pulpit or from 
the platform know, his efforts have been as successful 
as thorough. The Mount Olivet Church has been 
and is as a ^^ tower of strength'^ to this advancing 
and progressive race through the whole length and 
breadth of our common country. Let God be 
praised ! Many of our city churches of the colored 
race may still be weak, but they are all stronger 
than they would be but for the Mount Olivet Church. 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 173 

While the disturbances that have occurred since 
the above was written afford humiliating evidence 
of the remains of sin in our poor humanity, and are 
to be deeply deplored, yet we believe the faithful 
and self-sacrificing work which this church has done 
for Christ and the people of their race in the past 
will not be forgotten of God. The membership in 
1898 is given as one thousand five hundred and 
five. 

The Carmel Church. This church is situated at 
One Hundred and Fifty-third Street, between Ave- 
nues Second and Third, and was organized in 1882. 
In 1884 reported as having one hundred and thirty- 
five members, forty-six of whom were baptized 
during the previous year. No pastor and no report 
since that year. 

The Day Star Church, Amsterdam Avenue, Rev. 
A. B. Brown, pastor, organized in 1889, had one 
hundred and three members in 1897, the present 
number being one hundred and twenty-six. 

The First Swedish . Church, Rev. E. F. Ekman, 
pastor, was organized in 1867, in Colgate Chapel, 
East Twentieth Street. It has worshiped for several 
years in Twenty-seventh Street. Total number of 
members in 1897, two hundred and eighty-six, 
sixty-one of whom are non-resident. The present 
membership is three hundred and six. 

The First Italian Church, corner of Oliver and 
Henry Streets, Rev. Agostino Dassori, pastor, was 
organized in 1897. Present membership, seventy- 



174 REMINISCENCES 

six, of whom thirteen were baptized during the 
year 1897. 

Shiloh Church, East One Hundred and Twenty- 
fourth Street, between Lexington and Park Ave- 
nues. Present number, one hundred and fifty- 
seven. Pev. W. H. Slater, pastor. This church 
was organized in 1875, and had, in 1897, seventy 
members. 

Eagle Avenue Church, located on One Hundred 
and Sixty-third Street, Rev. Henry Marschard, pas- 
tor, was organized in 1895, with thirty-three mem- 
bers. The Minutes of the Association for 1897 
report this church as owning property estimated at 
five thousand dollars, subject to a mortgage of two 
thousand six hundred dollars. Present member- 
ship, thirty-two. 

Antioch Church, 34 West Thirty-second Street, 
Rev. Granville Hunt, pastor. In 1896 the church 
reported a membership of one hundred and twelve. 
Present membership, one hundred. 

Thessalonian Church, Morris Avenue and One 
Hundred and Eighty-first Street, Rev. J. J. Rivers, 
pastor. This church was organized in 1897, and 
reports that year a membership of fourteen persons. 
Present membership, twenty-two. 

GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCHES. 

First. This church, organized in 1846, was for 
many years under the pastoral care of G. M. 
Schulte, D. D. Its present pastor is Rev. G. A. 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 175 

Gunther. In 1897 the church reported to the 
Association three hundred and twenty-one members. 
It has a good meeting-house in Fourteenth Street, 
near First Avenue, erected by the Church Exten- 
sion Society of the Southern New York Baptist 
Association. Its granite front was once the front 
of the lecture-room of Doctor Cheever's church, 
on Fifteenth Street and Broadway. When Doctor 
Cheever's church edifice was torn down, the two 
fagades were purchased by Mr. John W. Stevens, 
who acted as chairman of the Church Extension 
Committee. The Broadway front was used for 
what is now the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, and 
the Fifth Street front was used for the First Ger- 
man Church. The present membership is three 
hundred and twenty-one. 

Second, located 407 West Forty-third Street, was 
organized in 1885. In 1897 the church reported 
two hundred and eighty-six members. Brother 
Walter Rauschenbusch, who has recently accepted a 
professor^s chair in the Rochester Theological Semi- 
nary, ministered to this church eleven years. On 
his removal the fjhurch called their present pastor, 
Rev. Gottlieb Fetzer. The present membership is 
two hundred and sixty-two. 

Third, Morrisania, organized in 1857, celebrated 
its fortieth anniversary in April, 1897; had then 
one hundred and eight members, of whom nineteen 
were baptized during the preceding yeer. Present 
pastor, Rev. Reinhard Hoefflin. 



176 REMINISCENCES 

First Harlem, located at 222 East One Hundred 
and Eighteenth Street, between Avenues Second 
and Third. Organized in 1894; has one hundred 
and sixty-five resident and twenty-eight non-resident 
members, while fifteen have been baptized and ten 
received by letter the past year. The church has 
paid a floating debt of one thousand dollars, but is 
subject to a mortgage of twelve thousand dollars 
held by the City Mission. Rev. R. T. Wagner, 
pastor. 

Immanuel, located on the corner of Sixty-first 
Street and Avenue One. Organized in 1 894 ; present 
number of members seventy, of whom nine were 
baptized in 1896. Rev. Charles Roth, pastor. 

Sixty-seventh Street, located on Sixty-seventh 
Street, near Avenue Tenth, has forty-two members. 
Their late pastor met a terrible death some time in 
1896. Since then Rev. Geo. N. Thomssen has 
supplied their pulpit until some time during 1897. 

STATEN ISLAND CHURCHES. 

Park Church, Port Richmond, Rev. William 
Morrison, pastor. This church was organized in 
1841 as the North Church, Port Richmond. Mr. 
Morrison, who has served the church since 1895, is 
its sixteenth pastor. It reports in 1897 two hun- 
dred and sixty-three resident and fifty-seven non- 
resident members, and as having received six by 
baptism and five by letter during the previous year. 
Present membership, three hundred and thirty-one. 



THE FIRST CHURCH, AND OTHER CHURCHES 177 

South Church, Tottenville, Judson C. Hendrick- 
son, pastor. This church, organized in 1859, has 
had fourteen pastors. It reports to the Association 
with ninety-nine members, nine of whom are non- 
resident. Present membership, ninety-four. 

Mariner's Harbor, Mariner's Harbor. Organized 
in 1857. In 1897 it reported one hundred and 
seventy-three resident and fifty-three non-resident 
members. It has had twelve pastors, the present 
pastor being Rev. Sidney Welton. Present num- 
ber, two hundred and twenty-three. 

West Church, Kreischerville. Organized in 1848. 
It has had ten pastors. In 1896 it had twelve 
members. In 1897 it had but nine, and had held 
no services in the church during that year. It has 
been without a pastor at least five years — how much 
longer I cannot learn. 

First Church, New Brighton, Rev. Daniel S. 
Toy, pastor. This church began the year 1896 
with fourteen members, with neither meeting-house 
nor site on which to build one. It closed the year 
1897 with seventy members, and was in possession 
of one of the best building sites in the town, with a 
prospect of soon entering the completed lecture-room 
of a new church edifice. This work has been 
effected, by the blessing of God, through the un- 
tiring energy of the pastor and the large gifts of 
one of the brethren. Deacon Saunders. Present 
number, ninety-three. 

St. Philip's Church, Port Richmond, Rev. Wil- 

M 



178 REMINISCENCES 

liam Edwards, pastor. The church has at present 
twenty-six members, ten of whom are non-resident. 
This leaves a small constituency for Mr. Edwards, 
who is their fifth pastor. 

With but one omission the foregoing pages com- 
prise all the information the writer is able to give 
relating to the Baptist churches of New York City 
and its immediate vicinity from 1835 to the present 
time. The omission is the Madison Avenue Baptist 
Church. This church was organized in 1848. In 
1862 — as has been noted in a former chapter — 
the Oliver Street Baptist Church sold its property 
in Oliver Street with the purpose of assisting the 
Madison Avenue Church to discharge certain pecu- 
niary obligations then resting upon it, and with the 
further purpose of uniting the two churches under 
one name. For twenty years thereafter the churches 
and congregations supposed to be thus united wor- 
shiped together and were known as the Madison 
Avenue Baptist Church. But, after the long liti- 
gation referred to in Chapter IV. and the decision 
of the court that no proper union had been effected 
and that the party coming from Oliver Street had 
no legal title either to the property or the name of 
the Madison Avenue Church, the former party 
removed and afterward organized as the Baptist 
Church of the Epiphany, and the latter party in- 
vited Rev. Dr. C. DeWitt Bridgeman to become 
their pastor. Doctor Bridgeman was an able 
preacher and much beloved by his people, but after 



179 

some years he resigned his pastorate and subse- 
quently took orders in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. The Madison Avenue Church then called 
and settled Henry M. Sanders, d. d., their present 
distinguished and scholarly pastor. Present mem- 
bership, three hundred and twenty-eight. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

CHURCHES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS 

FIRST, Mount Vernon, Rev. W. A. Granger, 
pastor. This church was organized in 1853. 
It has a total membership of eight hundred and 
two persons, of whom eighty-one are non-resident. 
During the year (1897) its increase had been by 
baptism, forty-three, and by letter, forty-one. The 
church has had nine pastors, among the first of 
whom was Rev. E. T. Hiscox, d. d., under whose 
ministry a large congregation was gathered, and 
many converts were baptized. Present member- 
ship, eight hundred and forty-eight. It just occurs 
to my recollection that Rev. Mr. Burnett preceded 
Doctor Hiscox as pastor of this church. 

First Church, White Plains, N. Y., Rev. J. J. 
Gorham, pastor. This church was organized in 
1870, and occupies a church edifice built by another 
denomination. It was bought by Mr. James B. 
Colgate, and presented to the American Baptist 
Home Mission Society. The church has had nine 
pastors, and the present membership is one hundred 
and thirty-two. 

Warburton Avenue Church, Yonkers, N. Y., Al- 
vah S. Hobart, D. D., pastor. This church was or- 
180 



CHURCHES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS 161 

ganized in 1849, as the Mount Olivet Church. It 
entertained the Hudson River Baptist Association, 
South, at its annual meeting in 1854, while the late 
Eev. D. Henry Miller was pastor, and when Rev. 
J. L. Hodge preached the opening sermon and was 
elected moderator. The Warburton Avenue Church 
assumed its present name on entering its present 
elegant church edifice in June, 1869. Doctor Ho- 
bart, its eighth pastor entered on his pastorate in 
1889. The church property, of the estimated value 
of one hundred thousand dollars, and wholly un- 
encumbered, was the gift of two of its members ; 
John B. Trevor, who has passed away, and James 
B. Colgate, who is living in Yonkers. Present 
membership, five hundred and ninety-nine. 

The Nepperhan Avenue Church, Yonkers, N. Y., 
Rev. Enos J. Bosworth, pastor. This church was 
organized in 1891, and has three hundred and sixty- 
one resident, and twenty-two non-resident members. 
The pastor has baptized forty-one persons during 
the past year. Present membership, three hundred 
and eighty-three. 

The Messiah Church, Yonkers, N. Y., was organ- 
ized in 1867. In 1893 the church reported to the 
Association as having forty-five members, under the 
pastoral care of Rev. E. W. Roberts. JN^o report 
since. 

The Pilgrim Church, West Farms, N. Y., Rev. 
John Hooper, pastor. This church was organized 
in 1858. Rev. Halsey Wo Knapp supplied the 



182 REMINISCENCES 

pulpit gratuitously for a long time, since which 
time the church has had seven pastors, including 
Mr. Hooper, whose pastorate began in 1895. For 
a long time the pulpit was supplied once on Sunday 
by Brother William Jones, and other members of 
the Lay-preaching Association. It reported to the 
Association in 1898, as having fifty-five members. 

Salem Church, New Rochelle, N. Y., Rev. B. G. 
Stelle, pastor. This church was organized in 1849. 
In 1897, the report to the Association represented 
a total membership of two hundred and forty-two 
persons, twenty-eight of whom were baptized the 
past year. It has had fifteen pastors. The present 
pastor has served two years. Present membership, 
two hundred and thirty-eight. 

The North Church, Port Chester, N. Y., Rev. 
Wm. H. Bawden, pastor. This church w-as organ- 
ized in 1865, and has one hundred and fifty-six 
members. Mr. Bawden is the ninth pastor, and has 
been with the church two years. Seven persons 
w^ere baptized, and five received by letter, during 
the past year. 

The First Church, Suffern, N. Y., was organized 
in 1842, as the Hempstead Baptist Church, and 
took its present name in 1893. It has forty-one 
members, twelve of whom are non-resident. 

Immanuel Church, Williamsb ridge, N. Y., was 
organized in 1883. No pastor. In 1897 it had 
one hundred and sixty-three members. The present 
membership is one hundred and seventy-two. 



CHURCHES OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS 183 

The Bethel Church, "White Plains, N. Y., was 
organized in 1888. In 1894 this church reported 
fifty-six members. No report since. George W. 
Krygar is pastor. 

The Bethesda Church, New Rochelle, N. Y., was 
organized in 1890. In 1895 it reported to the 
Association as having sixty-nine members, fourteen 
of whom had been baptized during the previous 
year by their pastor, T. H. Bayles. No report 
since. 

Chappaqua Church, Chappaqua, N. Y., Erasmus 
D. Garnsey, pastor. This church was organized in 
1881. In 1897 it reported to the Association as 
having thirty-eight resident and twenty-six non- 
resident members. 

The Calvary Church, SufFern, N. Y., was organ- 
ized in 1893, with ten members. Oscar A. Gage, 
pastor. Mr. Gage served the church as pastor 
about two years, during which the membership in- 
creased to twenty. In 1896 the church reported 
twenty-two members. In 1897 it had twenty mem- 
bers. No pastor. It has since settled Rev. Robert 
Duncan as pastor. 

The Pilgrim Church, Nyack, N. Y., w^as organ- 
ized in 1877. No report in the last five years. 

First Church, Nyack, N. Y. This church was 
organized in 1854. It reported in 1895 as having 
two hundred and ninety-eight resident, and eighty- 
four non-resident members, under the care of Ed- 
ward M. Saunier, pastor. No report since. 



184 REMINISCENCES 

Nanuet Church, Nanuet, N. Y., J. W. Cole, 
pastor. This church was organized in 1794 and, 
excepting the First Church, organized in 1762, 
and the Church of the Epiphany, organized in 
1791, is the oldest church in our Association. It 
has at present thirty-six resident, and twenty-seven 
non-resident members — an addition of four by bap- 
tism and four by letter during the last year. Their 
congregations are good, and they expect soon to put 
improvements on their house of worship. During 
one hundred and four years they have had twelve 
pastors. Rev. Paul J. Lux served them faithfully 
from 1892 to 1897, when he resigned to accept a 
call from a church at Orange, N. J. He was suc- 
ceeded by their present pastor. Rev. J. W. Cole. 

The above concludes all I am able to relate of 
the history of the churches of our Association since 
1835. The following chapters will be devoted to 
my recollections of our most prominent leaders and 
preachers. 




DEACON WILLIAM COLGATE, 



CHAPTER XXy 

BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 

IT seems to me there should be a distinction here 
and yet I know not how to distinguish. Per- 
haps it would be safe to say that some become 
leaders all unconsciously, because their characters 
are such that the people loill follow them; while 
others are so endowed by nature with the highest 
attributes of leadership, that the people must follow 
them. Let each covet the best gifts and let those 
who can say which they are. But let us never for- 
get that our one leader is Christ. 

Deacon William Colgate. First among New 
York Baptists of his day, both in wealth and influence, 
was Deacon William Colgate, of the Oliver Street 
Church. Nature had endowed him with a comely 
person, and the God of Nature had created in him 
a gracious heart and an open hand, always ready for 
every good work for the Christ he loved. His 
wealth would not be considered great in these days, 
and pales almost to insignificance beside the im- 
mense fortunes which his sons have since accumu- 
lated, and which — to their honor be it said — they 
have used and are still using as their father used 

185 



186 REMINISCENCES 

his, to carry forward the Redeemer's kingdom on 
the earth. Deacon William Colgate had not the 
advantage of what is called a liberal education, but 
he had what is often more useful, a liberal endow- 
ment of practical sense, together with great knowl- 
edge of men, and fine insight into character. He 
took great interest in young men, a fact which 
proved greatly to the advantage of the writer. He 
seemed to know every man's attitude and value, and 
the writer has often thought that if Deacon Colgate 
had been trained to diplomacy, he would have had 
few superiors in diplomatic circles, either at home 
or abroad. 

In 1839, Deacon Colgate transferred his church- 
membership from the Oliver Street Church to the 
newly constituted Tabernacle Church in Mulberry 
Street, and it was here that the writer was privileged 
to know him so well. While that church was con- 
templating a removal from Mulberry Street to Sec- 
ond Avenue, the writer — then a young man, but ac- 
customed to taking part in the business meetings of 
the church — strenuously opposed removal to any lo- 
cality above Bleecker Street. After the chaste and 
beautiful edifice on Second Avenue had been com- 
pleted, the deacon and he happened to be standing 
together in front of the building, and the former 
asked the latter what he thought of the new house? 
Nothing but praise could be uttered in response, 
and the deacon continued, ^^Yes, we have much to 
be thankful for ; but we have made a mistake in 



BAPTIST LEADEES OR LEADING BAPTISTS 187 

coming hereJ^ Of course the other thought so too, 
and was pleased to hear the admission, but a curious 
twinkle in the deacon's eye warned him there was 
something more to come, and presently the deacon 
added, " We ought to have gone to Thirtieth Street." 
AVhat the younger man thought need not be recorded, 
but the foresight of the older one was soon made 
evident. Fifteen years later any Baptist would 
have said, the Tabernacle Church ought to be in 
Thirtieth Street. 

Deacon Colgate had four sons : Robert, James B., 
Samuel, and Joseph. The last named died many 
years ago in Europe where he had gone in quest of 
health. Mr. Robert Colgate died within a few 
years. He was a gentleman of refined tastes and a 
liberal patron of art, and gave liberally to all Chris- 
tian and benevolent enterprises. Mr. James B. 
Colgate is still living, and is continually giving 
munificently to the cause of Christ in numerous 
ways. Mr. Samuel Colgate has recently passed on 
to the better country. He gave freely of his large 
fortune, not only to the university with which the 
Colgate family is so fully identified, but also to the 
support of home and foreign missions, and whatever 
he believed tended to the advancement of the Re- 
deemer's kingdom throughout the world. He gave 
himself, his warm heart, his clear intellect, and his 
physical strength, as a deacon, Sunday-school super- . 
intendent, and teacher, in the church where he be- 
longed. 



188 EEMINISCENCES 

To him also the denomination is indebted for a 
most valuable historical library which he has gath- 
ered with immense labor extending over many 
years; and for its preservation, he has erected a 
spacious hall in Colgate University grounds, thus 
rendering its use convenient to all visitors through 
coming time/ 

Deacon Joshua Gilbert. No member or 
former member of the Tabernacle Church who is 
old enough to remember the work of Deacon Wil- 
liam Colgate and his contemporaries in that church 
when in Mulberry Street, will fail to recollect his 
co-worker and brother-in-law, Joshua Gilbert. No 
two men were more unlike in person and manner, 
and at the same time more alike in consecration and 
aim than these. The gentle and winning suavity of 
William Colgate had no counterpart in the stern, 
almost grim personality of Joshua Gilbert ; and yet 
the latter concealed a heart as tender as a woman's, 
and benevolence as far-reaching as the ties of human 
brotherhood, and none really knew him without 
loving him. 

^At a recent dinner of the alumni of Colgate Univer- 
sity, Mr. James B. Colgate, the president of its Board of 
trustees, said in substance: **It was founded in 1818, the 
year in which I was born. It was organized with thirteen 
members and thirteen dollars. The population of New 
York City was then one hundred and fifty thousand. The 
increase of the university has not kept pace with the in- 
crease of population, but it has been quite satisfactory." 



BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 189 
SUNDAY-SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS. 

Baptists have always loved Sunday-school work, 
and many of the workers of the earlier, as well as 
of a later day, achieved marked success as Sun- 
day-school superintendents, — notably Deacons Isaac 
Newton in Oliver Street, and William A. Cauldwell, 
many years the superintendent of the Sunday-school 
of Calvary Church. Doubtless hundreds, perhaps 
thousands, whom they taught, are now teaching 
others. 

Deacon John C. Baxter. In this work, per- 
haps few have had a longer experience or have shown 
a more natural adaptation than the late Deacon 
John C. Baxter. I believe he was never absent 
from any of the schools he superintended, even 
through sickness; and he was never known to be 
late! A somewhat strict disciplinarian, he could 
not easily excuse either teacher or scholar who was 
not so punctual as himself. He was frequently so- 
licited to visit and address other schools when his 
own was not in session, and on these occasions he 
always had within memory's reach a fund of anec- 
dote and information that interested all who heard 
him. Doubtless the Sunday-school records of other 
churches can show equally interesting facts, both 
concerning the living and those who have passed on. 
The church with which I have held my member- 
ship for forty-six years cherishes the memory of 
many, including Chas. T. Goodwin, Thomas Hoi- 



] 90 REMINISCENCES 

man, Benjamin F. Judson, and Chas. E. Willard, 
who have gone to their rest. Of the living it is 
not my purpose to write. 

BAPTIST PREACHERS WHOM I HAVE HEARD. 

From the Oliver Street and other metropolitan 
pulpits of sixty years ago the writer had frequent 
opportunities of hearing the ablest and most popular 
Baptist preachers of the day, both contemporaries 
and those called the " fathers.'^ Among the former 
were Rev. Bartholomew T. Welch, then of Albany, 
N. Y., an ardent, eloquent preacher, and especially 
tender in prayer ; Dr. Daniel Sharp, then pastor of 
Charles Street Church, Boston, Mass., over which 
his pastorate lasted forty years. In his youth he 
was baptized in Oliver Street Church, and was there 
licensed to preach. Clear, forceful, and searching 
were his sermons. I remember one from the text, 
" Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright,'' 
which made many ears to tingle ! Dr. Baron Stow 
was also from Boston. His style was chaste, ele- 
gant, and full of discriminating thought. Dr. Rollin 
H. Neale, likewise from Boston, was so charged 
with magnetic power that he riveted the attention 
of his hearers from his first utterance to the last 
word of his discourse. A most lovable man, he 
knew how to grow old gracefully, Drs. Richard 
Fuller, John A. Broadus, and H. H. Tucker also 
preached occasionally in our city pulpits. Eloquent 
men all of them. 



BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 191 

Among the second class, the " fathers '^ in Israel 
and the "pioneers'' in the ministry, were Alfred 
Bennett and Nathaniel Kendrick, d. d., the latter 
president of Hamilton Theological Seminary. As 
a preacher Dr. Kendrick was at first slow of utter- 
ance, but very sympathetic and tender. When he 
had gotten half through his sermon he began to 
warm up, and spoke rapidly and eloquently to its 
close. It is said that his daughter, who often rode 
with him when he was going somewhere to preach, 
would sometimes laughingly say half an hour 
before they reached the station : '^ Father, if you 
begin now you will be just right when we reach the 
church ! " Dr. Kendrick was rich in good works, 
greatly beloved by all and venerated by the young 
men who were students in and graduated from the 
theological seminary over which he presided. He 
visited our city once every year to solicit funds for 
his institution, and on such occasions he never re- 
turned empty-handed. 

Rev. Alfred Bennett likewise came every year to 
advocate the cause of foreign missions. " Father 
Bennett,'' as he was lovingly called, had a stal- 
wart frame, a large, loving heart, and an eloquent 
tongue. It was a benediction to hear him preach. 

Then there was dear old " Father Peck," Elder 
John Peck, with heart as gentle and pure as the 
heart of a child. None could help loving him. 
He visited our city churches once a year as the 
agent of the State Convention. Every year he gave 



192 REMINISCENCES 

US an affectionate farewell ! His advanced age and 
feeble physique always favored the thought that the 
present might be the last visit. The last visit did 
come. I have forgotten in what year, but he died 
in this city during one of his annual visits. 

Among those who visited our churches once every 
year to plead for foreign missions no one was more 
widely known or more heartily welcomed than Kev. 
Orin Dodge, and no one was so long "in the har- 
ness.^' He was brief, clear, and earnest, but never 
tedious, and never despondent. He was of a later 
day than those already named. 

Many distinguished visitors from Europe also 
preached from time to time in our city pulpits. 
During the year 1835, Rev. Drs. Cox and Hoby 
visited America as a delegation from England, and 
their presence awakened great interest in our 
churches. Dr. Cox had an impressive personality. 
I remember him distinctly as he walked up the 
aisle of the Amity Street Church, in full clerical 
costume of black knee-breeches, silk stockings, low 
shoes, and large silver buckles, to deliver an address 
from Dr. Williams' pulpit. 

Among the visitors from England who came to 
us at a later date were Hugh Stowell Brown, Dr. 
Chown, of Bradford, aud other excellent preachers 
whose names I do not now recall. While writing 
the above of distinguished American preachers I 
omitted to name one of the most famous, the widely 
known evangelist. Elder Jabez Swan. He was an 



BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 193 

able and eloquent man, and seems to have been 
among Baptists what I suppose Rev. Chas. G. Fin- 
ney was among Congregationalists. Rev. Dr. Thos. 
J. Conant, the eminent Hebrew scholar, so long 
engaged in revising the English Scriptures for the 
American Bible Union, always addressed the union 
at its anniversaries, but I never heard him preach. 

Perhaps this is as fitting a place as may offer to 
pay a passing tribute to the memory of some noble 
Baptists, both ministers and laymen, whose names 
have been hitherto omitted or too briefly noticed, 
and who are now gone to the better country. Among 
the servants of Christ who have recently passed 
away there have been few or none whose memory 
will be more lovingly and deservedly cherished 
than the late Halsey W. Knapp, D. D. Dr. Knapp 
was a unique figure in the Baptist history of our 
day. In addition to an impressive personality, a 
general attractive manner and unflagging energy, 
he possessed extraordinary capacity for business, 
which he conducted with such ability, integrity, and 
success that he had acquired a considerable fortune 
even before his conversion — rather restoration, for 
he had been brought to Christ in his youth, but had 
lived the life of a worldling for many years. From 
the hour of his gracious restoration the current of 
his life found a new channel. His business was 
conducted with his wonted enthusiasm, but for a 
different end. From early dawn until noon daily 
his business in Washington Market (where he dealt 



194 REMINISCENCES 

in poultry and game) required and received his con- 
stant attention, and in all this he served Christ in 
temporal things. The rest of his time and talents 
were devoted to higher duties. Although only a 
layman, he was found Sunday after Sunday preach- 
ing the glad tidings of Christ wherever he found an 
open door, either supplying feeble churches or 
gathering new congregations where no church had 
yet been planted, always preaching out of a full 
heart and with such a flow of natural eloquence as 
delighted his audiences, and, by divine blessing, 
won many souls to God. 

Mr. Knapp^s success in this work made such an 
impression on his brethren then occupying our city 
pulpits that they desired to see him regularly in- 
ducted into the ministry, and a council of Baptist 
churches was called to consider the matter of his 
ordination. The findings of the council were : 

First, that Mr. Knapp should be ordained. 

Second, that he should continue to conduct his 
secular business. 

Mr. Knapp accepted the advice of the council, 
continuing to give personal attention to business in 
the forenoon and devoting the balance of his time 
to preparations for the pulpit and the exercises of the 
pastoral office. He became pastor successively of 
the Pilgrim Church, at West Farms; the Pilgrim 
Church, West Thirty-third Street; the Laight 
Street, and other Baptist churches, serving each 
without salary, and giving largely from his own 



BAPTIST LEADERS OR LEADING BAPTISTS 195 

private resources. Only when the disastrous failure 
of some of his largest customers heavily indebted to 
him rendered it absolutely necessary did he ask or 
receive any pecuniary compensation ! 

Surely, it may properly be said of such a charac- 
ter, " It is unique ! " 



CHAPTER XXyi 

A CLOSING WORD 

TO make a record of all the honored Baptist min- 
isters and laymen, who at one time or another 
have had New York City for the field of their 
activities as journalists, presidents, secretaries, 
church officials, Sunday-school superintendents, and 
men of business, would swell these reminiscences 
much beyond their intended limits. All that will 
be attempted, therefore, is to recall a few names of 
those who, having served their generation in one or 
more of these departments of labor, have passed on 
to serve in a higher sphere. 

Among those who have edited Baptist journals in 
New York City since the '^ Baptist Advocate '' was 
first issued May 11, 1839, older Baptists will remem- 
ber William H. Wyckoff, Martin B. Anderson, Sewall 
S. Cutting, Orin B. Judd, A. S. Patton, Nathan 
Brown, Pharcellus Church, John W. Olmstead, Jay 
S. Backus, and perhaps others, all of whom, if I am 
not mistaken, have passed from the employments of 
earth, or they would not be mentioned here ; yet 
their well-known faces seem more easily recalled 
than those of some whom I met but yesterday. 

It would savor of presumption to say, or even per- 

196 



A CLOSING WOED 197 

haps to suggest, which of the above-named able 
men merited the second place in editorial ranks ; 
but few, probably, will question that the late Dr. 
Edward Bright, editor of "The Examiner,'^ was, 
in his day, entitled to, and accorded, the highest 
place. 

Among those who have served our several socie- 
ties with distinguished ability as secretaries, the 
names of Benjamin M. Hill, Wm. H. Wyckoff, 
Sewall S. Cutting, and Nathan Bishop, will not 
soon be forgotten. Yet the self-sacrificing labors of 
Doctor Bishop who, in a period of great financial 
stress, served the American Baptist Home Mission 
Society for two consecutive years without salary, 
and during the same period, gave the Society thirty 
thousand dollars from his own and Mrs. Bishop^s 
private resources, surely merits the highest praise, 
and should cause him to be remembered as the most 
public-spirited, as he had long been accounted the 
"foremost. Baptist layman ^^ of his day — a day in 
which Geo. H. Andrews, Wm. A. Cauldwell, Sam- 
uel S. Constant, L. P. Bayne, Charles L. Colby, 
William Phelps, and a host of others, worthy com- 
peers in Christian work, were bestowing their wealth, 
and devoting all their mental and physical energy 
to the service of the Master, in our own city first, 
and then in the regions beyond. 

While thinking of other leading Baptist laymen 
who have passed into the unseen within my recol- 
lection, — some of them many, many years ago, — 



198 EEMINISCENCES 

memory brings back the once familiar features of 
John R. Ludlow, a retired merchant, a man of 
wealth and cultured intellect, who (like some al- 
ready named, but who belonged to a later gener- 
ation) was once spoken of as " the foremost Baptist 
layman of his day.^^ 

Then arises before my mind a host, some belong- 
ing to a little later day, and others to a day later 
still, but each with a vividness that causes it to 
seem but yesterday that they were part of our life, 
aiding in our religious work, counseling in our per- 
plexities, taking part in our Associational meetings, 
often stirring us to action by their eloquence, and 
helping to shape the policy of our churches and de- 
nominational societies. 

Among them I seem to behold again the once 
familiar forms and faces of Peter Balen, Peter and 
Wm. T. Anderson, John N. Wyckoff, Charles A. 
Baldwin, Richard Hunt, Richard Peterson, Benja- 
min Reynolds, Samuel Barstow, Andrew Swaney, 
and others, some of them in the Cannon Street, and 
others, members of the Norfolk Street Church, in 
which Brethren Hunt, Peterson, Baldwin, Reynolds, 
and Samuel Barstow were at one time trustees, while 
Andrew Swaney was a deacon. 

In another group I remember Humphrey Phelps, 
James Cowan, Wm. D. Mangam, Isaac Lewis, R. C. 
Ackerley, Willard Phelps, and Andrew Middleton, 
all members of the Stanton Street Church. In an- 
other group, memory recalls, besides some mentioned 



A CLOSING WORD 199 

elsewhere, Garrett N. Bleecker, Isaac Newton, Wm. 
D. Murphy, Nathan C. Piatt, Ebenezer Cauldwell, 
Samuel Raynor, Ervin H. Tripp (who always stood 
during prayer, although that ancient custom had 
long since passed away), and Captain A. W. Wel- 
den, most or all of whom were in the Oliver Street 
Church. 

In yet another group, were John C. Overhiser, 
Benjamin Pike, Benjamin Pike, Jr., Daniel Pike, 
George T. Hope, George C. Germond, R. J. Brad- 
ford, and C. C. Backus, who has just passed on. I 
think most of the last-named group were, at one 
time or another, members of the Amity Baptist 
Church. 

But I must hasten to bring these reminiscences to 
an end, and perhaps I cannot prepare the way to 
do so better than by presenting my readers with a 
retrospective view of the old church in Mulberry 
Street as I first knew it in 1839, as the Tabernacle 
Baptist Church. It embraced a truly remarkable 
body of men, leaders and workers ; men of age, 
large experience, and mental power, supplemented 
and supported by men in the prime of life, and by 
a yet larger number possessing all the zeal and ardor 
of youth. 

In the first class (besides Deacons William Col- 
gate and Joshua Gilbert, already named) stood 
Deacon William Winterton, a man of great energy 
and executive talent ; David T. Valentine, a his- 
toric figure, prominent in civic as well as in church 



200 REMINISCENCES 

life, more than thirty years clerk of the Common 
Council of New York City, and editor of the " Cor- 
poration Manual/^ He was a man of noble pres- 
ence whom, having seen once, one could never for- 
get. Side by side with the above-named stood 
Wm. Goadly, Abram Knight, Thomas Day, and 
others, who had belonged to the old Mulberry Street 
Church before the Tabernacle was organized. Next 
came Deacons Wm. M. McCutchen and Charles AY. 
Houghton, who came with the West Baptist Church ; 
then James G. Whipple, Deacon Samuel Shardlow, 
John and Bowles Colgate, Avery Brumley, John 
Barker, Eldredge Yandewerken, Joseph F. Sanxay, 
Wm. B. Bradbury, leader of the choir, and Joseph 
B. Hoyt, afterward treasurer of the American Bap- 
tist Home Mission Society. Among the younger 
men, were David Sloan, Richard J. Larcomb, 
Henry G. Leask, and Thomas Rafferty, all active 
workers in various departments, and last, but by no 
means least in spiritual attainments, was the God- 
fearing Bible student and faithful sexton, Joseph 
Whittemore. 

Among the beloved brethren who have been 
taken from us since the days of which I have just 
written, memory calls for a loving tribute to many 
Avhose names must be omitted for want of space. 
But we must not omit to mention Deacon Chas. T. 
Goodwin, Geo. H. Andrews, Benjamin F. Judson, 
and more recently, Chas. L. Colby, Samuel T. and 
George Washington Hillman, De AYitt C. Hays, 



A CLOSING WORD 201 

Joseph Brokaw, Robt. G. Cornell, Chas. T. Evans, 
Frederick Hornby, John P. Townsend, Edward Col . 
gate, Howard F. Randolph, David W. Manwaring, 
and John W. Gilbough, most of them office-bearers, 
and all of them highly esteemed and much loved 
members of their respective churches, men whom 
their pastors and brethren especially and continually 
miss. 

But memory goes still farther back, and recalls 
the venerated forms of Deacons Thomas Garniss, 
Thomas Purser, Jacob Smith, Roger Pegg, Robert 
Edwards, and their compeers and contemporaries. 
These all "served their own generation and fell on 
sleep.^' We would not wish them canonized. Their 
many virtues, like those of their successors in the 
present day, were mixed with human frailties ; their 
judgments were not so perfect that they made no 
mistakes ; they certainly were not infallible ; but they 
were noble. God-fearing men, and while we rejoice 
in the thought that they are now reaping their re- 
ward in heaven, we also thank God for the work 
they did on earth. 

But were the former times better than these? 
No ! God has as faithful servants yet on earth as 
those he has taken to heaven. But of these it is 
not my purpose to write. They too will "serve 
their generation and fall on sleep,^' and another, and 
doubtless an abler pen, will chronicle their deeds. 

My task is done. May God accept it to his own 
glory for Christ's sake. Amen. 



APPENDIX 

IT was the intention of the writer to close the fore- 
going reminiscences with the twenty-seventh 
anniversary of the Southern New York Baptist 
Association, held with the Hope Baptist Church, 
October 12-14, 1897. He has however concluded 
to add the following : The Association met in the 
new and elegant edifice of the Washington Heights 
Church, on the corner of Convent Avenue and One 
Hundred and Forty-fifth Street. The sessions were 
unusually well attended and were full of interest 
from beginning to end ; but the crowning event was 
the formal dedication of the church edifice to the 
worship of Almighty God. Many able and in- 
tensely interesting addresses were made, and the 
dedicatory prayer by the pastor, Rev. B. B. Bos- 
worth, was listened to in solemn and reverential 
silence. 

Brooklyn Churches. A friend asks me if I do 
not intend to include the Baptist churches and pas- 
tors of Brooklyn in my reminiscences. I am re- 
luctantly compelled to answer in the negative. 
First, because such a work should be done, if done 
at all, by some member of the Long Island Asso- 
ciation to which those churches and pastors belong ; 
and secondly, because such a work, if I should un- 

202 



APPENDIX 203 

dertake it, would not be a record of memories, but 
a mere collection of reports and a very imperfect 
one. There are, however, several among the de- 
parted, and two or three perhaps among the living, 
who were at one time or other, members of the New 
York or the Hudson River Associations before the 
Long Island Association was formed ; and of these 
I may properly write. 

Of the departed, Rev. E. E. L. Taylor came to 
Brooklyn in 1839, having just graduated from 
Hamilton, where he was a fellow-student with Rev. 
Wm. W. Everts, who had just been called to the 
Tabernacle Church, then in Mulberry Street. Doc- 
tor Taylor's work in Brooklyn, where he was pastor 
successively of the Pearl Street, the Pierrepont 
Street, and the Strong Place Churches, was very 
successful. With the last named, he closed his pub- 
lic ministry. Dr. J. Monroe Taylor, the accom- 
plished president of Vassar College, is a son of Dr. 
E. E. L. Taylor. 

The late Dr. Hiram Hutchins, for nearly forty 
years pastor of the East Brooklyn Church on 
Bedford Avenue, and Rev. Dr. John W. Sarles, 
whose golden jubilee, marking the close of fifty 
years in the gospel ministry, was celebrated two 
years ago at Stelton, N. J., were both at one time, 
with the churches to which they ministered, mem- 
bers of the New York Baptist Association. Doctor 
Sarles commenced his ministry with the Bridge 
Street Church, Brooklyn, in 1847, and continued 



204 REMINISCENCES 

there until 1879, when he resigned to accept the 
pastorate of the Piscataway Church at Stelton, where 
he still resides. 

Both Doctor Hut chins and Doctor Sarles were 
firm friends and active members of the American 
Bible Union from its formation in 1850, working 
side by side until the death of the former. The 
latter is now its vice-president. D. C. Hughes, D. D., 
who is corresponding secretary of the American 
Bible Union, was some years ago pastor of the 
Trinity Church, Fifty-fifth Street, New York, and 
of course a member of the Southern New York 
Baptist Association, and is so far as I know, the 
only Brooklyn pastor standing in like relation, 
except Rev. Dr. Robert Bruce Hull, and he has 
already been mentioned among the pastors of the 
Tabernacle Church of this city. 

I trust this will be accepted by my many Brook- 
lyn friends as a sufficient apology for not including 
their churches and pastors in my reminiscences. 

G. H. H. 

New York, January, 1899. 



GENERAL INDEX 



Abbott, Lyman, 138. 
Abyssinian Church, 7, 25, 26. 
Acton, Hon. Thos. C, 132, 133. 
Adams, Jed E., 162. 
Adams, Rev. John Quincy, 49, 157. 
Alexander Avenue Church, 166. 
Alexandria, Va., Church, 20. 
All Angels' Chapel, 153. 
Alman, Rev. Samuel, 129-131, 163- 

165. 
American Baptist Home Mission 

Society, 180, 197, 200. 
American Baptist Missionary 

Union, 54. 
American Bible Union, 15, 87, 151, 

193. 204. 
American and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety, 15. 
Amity Street Church, 7, 53-58, 192. 
Amity Street Church Officials, 199. 
Anderson, Martin B., ll. d., 196. 
Anderson, Thomas D., d. d., 102, 

150, 152, 153. 
Andrews, Hon. Geo. H., 74, 98, 101. 
Angell, Rev. Henry, 154, 155. 
Anniversary Committee of the 

Fifth Avenue Church, 104. 
Anniversary Committee of Stanton 

Street Church, 102. 
Antioch Church, 174. 
Archer, Ezekiel, 9. 
Armitage, Thomas, D. D., 73, 74, 75, 

76-79, 86-88, 90, 92, 94. 96-146. 
Ascension Church, 162, 163. 
Attercliffe Common, 110. 
Avery, Rev., 161. 

Backus, Rev. Jay S., 60, 159, 196. 
Bailey, Rev. G. W., 170. 



Ballard, Rev. Joseph, 162. 
Barnard, Rev. Joseph, 61. 
'* Baptist Advocate," 196. 
" Baptist Church Directory," 46. 
" Baptist Ministers' Home," 60. 
Baptist Sunday-school Union, 85. 
Barrett, Rev. Luther G., 157. 
Barstow, Rev. Jonathan, 165. 
Barstow, Samuel, 198. 
Bawden, Rev. Wm. H.. 158. 
Baxter, Dea. John C, 189. 
Bayles, Rev. T. H., 183. 
Beckley, John T., d. d., 34. 
Beedle, Rev. Samuel, 110. 
Bellamy, Rev. David, 43, 44. 
Bellezane, Wreck of the, 16, 17. 
Beman, Mr. Warren, 97. 
Benedict, Rev. George, 7, 42, 72, 

73-75, 111. 
Bennett, Rev. Alfred, 191. 
Berean Church, 156, 157. 
Bernard, Rev. David, 59. 
Beth Eden Church, 170. 
Bethel Church, 9, 42. 
Bethel Church, White Plains, N. 

Y., 183. 
Bethesda Church, 158, 159. 
Bethesda Church, New Rochelle, 

N. Y., 183. 
Bible Revision, 87, 88, 151. 
Bishop, Nathan, ll. d.. 197. 
Bishop, Mrs. Nathan, 161. 
Bitting, Rev. Wm. C, 106, 161. 
Bloomingdale Church, 156. 
Bonham, Rev. J. W., 94. 
Bostwick, J. A., 104, 111, 112, 114, 

117, 136, 145, 146, 148, 164, 165. 
Bosworth, Rev. Boardman B., 47, 

202. 

205 



206 



GENERAL INDEX 



Bosworth, Rev. Enos J., 181. 
Bridgeman, C. De Witt, D. D., 120, 

121, 178, 179. 
Bridge Street Church, Brooklyn, 

N. Y., 203. 
Bright, Dr. Edward, 105, 149, 197. 
Broadus, John A., D. D., 106, 190. 
Brokaw, Dea. Joseph, 154. 
Bronk, Rev. Mitchell, 163. 
Brooklyn Churches, 202. 
Broome Street Church, 7, 61. 
Brouner, Rev. Jacob H., 7, 49, 51, 79. 
Brouner, Rev. John J., 50-52. 
Brown. Rev. A. B., 173. 
Brown, Hugh Stowell, 192. 
Brown, Nathan, 196. 
Brown University, 149. 
Buckland, Rev. R. J. W., 44. 
Buckley, Rev. J. M., 139. 
Bull's Head Cattle Market, 93. 
Burlingham, A. H., D. c, 37. 
Burnett, Rev., 180. 
Bun, Stephen H., 162. 
Burchard, Rev. S. D., 102. 

Calvary Church, 10, 44, 45, 189. 
Calvary Church, Albany, N. Y., 33. 
Calvary Church, SufEern, N. Y., 

183. 
Campbell, Rev. J. L., 166. 
Cannon Street Church, 61. 
Cannon Street Church Officials, 

198. 
Carmel Church, 173. 
Carte, Mrs., 168, 169. 
Castle, Rev., 166. 

Cauldwell, Dea. Wm. A., 161, 189. 
Central Church, 156. 
Central Church Officers, 156. 
Central Park Church (first one), 

92, 162. 
Central Park Church (second one), 

162. 
Chambers, Rev. T. W., 138. 
Chappaqua Church, Chappaqua, 

N. Y., 183. 



Chinese Work, 168, 169. 

Chase, Rev. Johnson, 7, 8, 40. 

Choules, Rev. John O., 154. 

Chown, Doctor, 192. 

Christian Church, 72. 

Church Extension Society of the 

Southern N. Y. Assoc, 174. 
Church of the Redeemer, 167, 168. 
Church of the Seceders, 12. 
Church, Pharcellus, d. d., 196. 
City Mission Society, 51, 71, 85, 169. 

176. 
Cleghorn, Rev. A., 50, 
Clinch, Edward S., 162. 
Colby, Chas. L., 125-127. 
Cole, Rev. J. W., 184. 
Coger, Rev. M. G.,161. 
Colgate Chapel, 173. 
Colgate, Dea. W^m., 62, 64,18&-187, 

188. 
Colgate, James B., 180, 181, 187, 188. 
Colgate, Joseph, 187. 
Colgate, Robert, 187. 
Colgate, Samuel, 187, 188. 
Colgate, Rev. Samuel. Jr., 165. 
Colgate University, 188. 
Combs, Mr. Samuel B., 3. 
Comey, Dea. J. F., 128. 
Conant, Rev. Thos. J., 193. 
Cone, Rev. Spencer H., 3, 5, 7, 15, 

17, 19-22, 72, 1.50-152. 
Cooper, Dea. Wm., 150. 
Cooper Union, 2. 
Coray, E. A., 96. 
Corey, Rev. Sidney A., 168. 
"Corporation Manual," 200. 
Covel, Rev. Lemuel, 27, 154, 155. 
Cox, Rev. Hanson S., 68, 192. 
Crane, Rev. E. F., 154, 155. 
Crandall, Rev. L. A., 46, 47. 
Crosby, Dr. Howard, 118, 119, 120. 
Cutting, Sewall S., D. D., 196, 197. 

Dassori, Rev. Agostino, 173. 

David, 106, 108. 

Davies, Rev. Philip L., 157. 



GENERAL INDEX 



207 



Davis, Rev. Henry, 61. 

Day, Rev. Henry S., 111. 

Day, John, 59. 

Day Star Church, 173. 

Deems, Rev. Chas. F., 139. 

Delauey, Dr., 108. 

Dixon, Rev. Thomas, 47. 

Dodge, Rev. Daniel, 3. 

Dodge, Jeremiah, 9. 

Dodge, Rev. John, 9. 

Dodge, Rev. Orin, 192. 

Dovvling, Rev. John, 5, 18, 44, 63,157. 

Dubois, Rev. James, 154, 155. 

Dunbar, Rev. Duncan, 7, 35. 

Duncan, Rev. Robert, 183. 

Eagle Avenue Church, 174. 

Earle, Rev. A. B., 96. 

East Church, 7, 61. 

East Brooklyn Church, Brooklyn, 

N. Y., 203. 
Eastman, Rev. Samuel, 41. 
Eddy, Rev. H. J., 61. 
Edwards, Robert, 28. 
Edwards, Rev. William, 178. 
Ekman, Rev. E. F., 173. 
Elder. Rev. J. F., 33, 102. 
Emmanuel Church, 129, 131, 163- 

165. 
English. Rev. J. B., 170. 
Epiphany Church, 33, 34, 169, 178. 
Everts, Rev. Wm. W., 63, 64, 68, 79, 

163, 203. 
Ewing, Rev. Greville, 12. 
" The Examiner," 197. 

Faunce, W. H. P., d. d., 147-149. 
Fayette Street Church, 9. 
Fetzer, Rev. Gottlieb, 175. 
Fifth Avenue Church, 95-134, 143- 

149, 164, 165, 171. 
Fifth Avenue Pulpit Committee, 

147, 148. 
Fifth Church, Philadelphia, 153. 
Fifty-third Street People's Church, 

163. 



First Church, 3, 7, 8, 24, 25, 150- 

154, 158. 
First Church, Albany, N. Y., 60. 
First Church, Brooklyn, N. Y., 60, 

72. 
First Church, Chicago, 111., 27. 
First Church of Harlem, 161. 
First Church, Mount Vernon, N.Y., 

180. 
First Church, New Brighton, S. I., 

177. 
First Church of North New York, 

166. 
First Church, Nyack, N. Y., 183. 
First Church, Stamford, Conn., 70. 
First Church, Suffern, N. Y., 182. 
First Church, White Plains, N. Y., 

180. 
First German Church, 174, 175. 
First Harlem German Church, 176. 
First Italian Church, 173, 174. 
First Mariner's Church, 160, 161. 
First Swedish Church, 173. 
Fiske, Gen. Clinton B., 133. 
"Forty Years," 106-111. 
Francis, Rev. James A., 71, 169, 170. 
Fuller, Rev. Andrew, 117. 
Fuller, Rev. Richard, 190. 

Gage, Rev. Oscar A., 183. 
Garniss, Dea. Thomas, 9, 20. 
Garnsey, Rev. Erasmus D., 183. 
German Churches, 174-176. 
Gessler, Rev. T. K., 167. 
Gibbs. Rev. John W., 40, 49. 
Gilbert, Dea. Joshua, 188. 
Gillette, Rev. A. D., 44. 
Goodchild. Rev. F. M., 156. 
Goodwin, Mr. Frank J., 128. 
Goodwin, Charles T., 89, 92, 98, 101, 

189. 
Gorham, Rev. J. J., 180. 
" The Gospel Witness," 3. 
Grace Church (first one), 48, 167. 
Grace Church (second one), 166, 

167. 



208 



GENERAL INDEX 



Granger, Rev. W. A., 180. 
"Great Fire," 18. 
Grenell, Rev. Zelotes, 61. 
Gunning, Dr. J. H., 115, 122. 
Gunther, Rev. G. A., 174, 175. 

Hague, Rev. William, 30, 93. 

Haldane, Robert, 12, 13. 

Haldeman, Rev. I. M., 153, 154. 

Hall, Rev. John, 102, 139, 140, 141. 

Hall, Rev. Robert, 117. 

Hamilton Theological Seminary, 
191. 

Hansen, George H., 89, 92, 98, 101, 
111, 147. 

Hartley, Rev. Richard, 163. 

Harris, Thomas R., 156. 

Hastings, Rev. Thomas, 137, 140. 

Hatfield-Peverel, 2. 

Hatt, Rev. George, 69. 

Hempstead Church, Suffern, N. Y., 
182. 

Hendrickson, Rev. Judson C, 177. 

Herr, Rev. J. D., 156. 

Higgins, Sandy, 89. 

Hill, Benjamin M., 197. 

Hillman, Dea. William, 150, 151. 

Hillman, George W., 82. 

Hiscox, Edward T., D. D., 45. 46. 180. 

Hiscox, Rev. H. O., 46. 

History of the Fifth Avenue Bap- 
tist Church, 73. 

"History of the Stanton Street 
Church," 39. 

Hobart, Alvah S., d. d., 180, 181. 

Hoby, Dr., 192. 

Hodder, Rev. A. W., 60, 61. 

Hodge, Rev. James L., 7, 37, 59, 60, 
162, 181. 

Hoe, Rev. Beniah, 63. 

Hcefflin, Rev. Reinhard, 175. 

Holloway, Rev. Edwin S., 38. 

Holman, Thomas, 89. 

Holme, Rev. J. S., 70, 168. 

Hooper, Rev. John, 181, 182. 

Hopkins, Rev. C. J., 158. 



Hope Church, 163, 202. 

•' Hope Chapel Congregation," 43, 

44. 
Hope Chapel Church, Leaders in 

Organization of, 43, 44. 
Hoyt, Wayland, d. d., 71. 
Hudson, Rev., 166. 
Hudson River Association, 41, 79, 

159. 
Hudson River Association, South, 

28, 181. 
Hughes, Rev. D. C, 204. 
Hull, Rev. Robert Bruce, 71, 204. 
Hunt, Rev. Granville, 174. 
Hutching, Rev. Hiram, 203, 204. 

Illsley, Rev. Silas, 72. 

Immanuel Church, Williams- 
bridge, N. Y., 182. 

Immanuel German Church, 176. 

Interdenominational Letter Sign- 
ers, 112. 

Isaacs, Wm. M., 161. 

Jackson, Rev. Aaron, 49. 
Johnson, Rev. W. F., 170. 
Jones, Rev. Howard L., 34. 
Jones, Rev. Peter F., 162. 
Jones, Samuel, 9. 
Jones, William, 182. 
Judd, Rev. Orin B., 159, 196. 
Judson, Adoniram, 114, 157. 
Judson, Dea. Benj. F., 98, 102, 104, 

105, 147, 164, 190. 
Judson, Rev. Edward, 114, 115, 157, 

158. 
Jutten, Rev. David B., 60. 

Kendrick, Rev. J. R., 70. 
Kendrick, Rev. Nathaniel, 191. 
Kennard, Rev. J. Spencer, 38, 127. 
King, Rev. J. M., 139. 
Kircaldy, 12. 

Knapp, Rev. E. E., 167, 168. 
Knapp, Rev. Halsey W., 37, 38, 181, 
182, 193-195. 



GENEKAL INDEX 



209 



Knapp, Rev. Jacob, 64-68. 
Knapp, Rev. Samuel J., 37, 46, 159. 
Krygar, Rev. Geo. W., 183. 

Laight Street Church (first one), 
68, 163, 194. 

Laight Street Church (second one), 
163. 

Landor, Walter Savage, 115. 

Lathrop, Rev. Edward, 69, 70. 

Lawson, Dea. L. M., Ill, 112, 113, 
123, 124, 146. 

Lawson, Miss Louise, 111, 114. 

Lay -preaching Association, 78-85, 
166, 182. 

Lay-preaching Association Mem- 
bers, 82. 

Leavell, Rev. W. H., 46. 

Lexington Avenue Church, 166. 

"Life of Spencer H. Cone," 19, 21 

List of City Churches in 1835, 7. 

Long Island Association, 202, 203. 

Ludlow, John R., 198. 

Lux, Rev. Paul J., 184. 

Lyon, Roger H., 24. 

MacArthur, Robert Stuart, d. d., 
44, 45, 116-118. 

Macdougal Street Church, 35. 

Maclay, Rev. Archibald, 7, 11-17, 
40, 41, 87. 

"Maclay Memorial," 11. 

MacMurray, Rev. D. A., 169. 

Madison Avenue Church, 30, 31, 
96, 178, 179. 

Madison Avenue Committee on 
Union, 30. 

Magoon, Rev. E. L., 28, 29. 

Mariner's Harbor Church, Mari- 
ner's Harbor, 177. 

Mariner's Temple Church, 60, 161, 

Marschard, Rev. Henry, 174. 

Mason, Col. Joel W., 129. 

McKean, Rev. John A., 157. 

Melrose Mission Society, 163. 

Memorial Church of Christ, 15&- 
158. 



Messiah Church, Yonkers, N. Y., 

181. 
Middleton, Rev. John, 7. 
Mikels, Rev. Wm. S., 60. 
Miller, Rev. D. Henry, 124, 125, 134, 

181. 
Miller, Rev. Wm. G., 7. 
Mitchell, Dr., 5, 6. 
Moore, Rev. Halsey, 166. 
Morningside Church, 169. 
Morrison, Rev. Wm., 176. 
Mott, Richard, 156. 
Mount Gilead Chiirch, 170. 
Mount Morris Church, 161, 162. 
Mount Olivet Church, 34, 131, 170- 

173, 175, 181. 
Mulberry Street Church, 7, 10, 14, 

15, 17, 39. 
Murch, Rev., 165. 

Nanuet Church. Nanuet, N.Y., 184. 

Neale, Rev. Rollin H., 190. 

Nepperhan Avenue Church, Yon- 
kers, N. Y., 181. 

Newton, Dea. Isaac, 28, 189. 

New York Association, 79, 152. 

" New York Chronicle," 159. 

" New York Herald," 67. 

" New York Recorder," 162. 

Niles, Mr. L. H., 128. 

Noe, Deacon, 40, 41. 

Norfolk Street Church, 42, 71-75, 
78, 86-95, 110, 129, 162. 

Norfolk Street Church Officials, 
198. 

Norfolk Street Church Committee 
on Location, 92. 

Norfolk Street Church List of Dea- 
cons, 89. 

North Beriah Church, 7, 35, 156, 
160. 

North Church, 7, 36, 49-52. 

North Church, Port Chester, N. Y., 
182. 

North Church, Port Richmond, N, 
Y., 176. 



210 



GENEEAL INDEX 



Norton, Rev. C. C, 29, 137, 154, 155, 

162. 
Nott, Rev. A. Kingman, 151, 152. 

Oliver Street Churcb, 3, 4, 7, 8, 14, 
19-23, 27-33, 53, 62, 178, 185, 189. 

Oliver Street Church Committee 
on Union, 30. 

Oliver Street Church Officials, 199. 

Olmstead, John W., 196. 

Oncken, John G., 160. 

Osborne, Rev. A. C, 37. 

Osgood, Howard, d. d., 29, 49, 50. 

Park Church, Port Richmond, N. 

Y., 176. 
Parkinson, Rev. Wm., 7, 24, 25, 

158. 
Parmely, Rev. D. S., 159. 
Patton, Rev. A. S., 196. 
Patton, Rev. J. Ferris, 163. 
Pearl Street Church, Albany, N. 

Y., 78. 
Pearl Street Church, Brooklyn, N. 

Y., 203. 
Peck, Doctor, 54, 56. 
Peck, James M., 38. 
Peck, Rev. John, 191, 192. 
Peddie, Rev. John, 153. 
Pegg, Roger, 28. 
Pell, Dea. W. T., 128. 
Peltz, Rev. G. A., 38. 
Pendleton, Rev. Wm. H., 61, 159. 
People's Church, 163. 
Perkins, Rev. Aaron, 156, 157. 
Pierrepont Street Church, Brook- 
lyn, 203. 
Pilgrim Church, 38, 167, 194. 
Pilgrim Church, Nyack, N. Y., 183. 
Pilgrim Church, West Farms, N. 

Y., 181, 182, 194. 
Piscataway Church, Stelton, N. J., 

203. 204. 
Plummer, Mr. J. F., 112, 122, 134. 
Plymouth Church, 37, 38. 
Pogson, Rev. Matthew H., 60. 



Pontefract, 108, 109. 

Potter, Bishop Henry C, 138. 

Potter, Rev. Daniel C, 71, 121, 154, 

155. 
Purser, Thomas, 28. 
Putnam, Mrs. A. C, 60, 160. 
Putnam, Rev. James W., 168. 

Rabbit-warren Church, 4. 
Rauschenbusch, Rev. Walter, 175. 
Raymond, Rev. Lewis, 90. 
Raymond, Rev. John T., 7, 26. 
Remington, Rev. Frank, 49. 
Remington, Rev. Stephen, 45. 
Reid, Dea. J. D., 89, 101, 104, 122. 
Rhodes, Rev. Christopher, 46. 
Rivers, Rev. J. J., 174. 
Riverside Church, 71, 169, 170. 
Roberts, Rev. E. W., 181. 
Rochester Theological Seminary, 

175. 
Rockefeller, John D., 124, 125. 
Root, Sidney, 171, 172. 
Roth, Rev. Charles, 176. 
Rutgers Institute, 86. 

Sabine, Rev. Wm. T., 138. 

Salmon, H. H., 38. 

Salem Church, New Rochelle, N. 

Y., 182. 
Samson, Rev. Geo. W., 58. 
Sanders, Rev. Henry M., 106, 138, 

156, 179. 
Sarles, Rev. JohnW., 203. 
Saunders, Dea., 177. 
Saunier, Rev. Edward M., 183. 
Scott. Rev. J. W., 26, 166. 
Schulte.Rev. G. M., 174. 
Seaman's Bethel, 160. 
Second Avenue Church, 170. 
Second Church (Chrystie Street), 

7. 
Second Church (Bowery), 7. 
Second Church, Chicago, 111., 153. 
Second Church of Harlem, 166. 
Second Church, Providence, R. I., 

18. 



GENERAL INDEX 



211 



Second Church, Rochester, N. Y., 
50. 

Second German Church, 175. 

Second Mission Church, 163. 

Seeley, Rev. John T., 154, 155. 

Seton, Mr. W. S., 35. 

Sharon Church, 170. 

Sharp, Rev. Daniel, 190. 

Sheldon, Dea. Smith, 154. 

Shiloh Church, 174. 

Simmons, Rev. James B., 104, 168. 

Sixteenth Church, 7, 59-61. 

Sixth Street Church, 29, 154, 155. 

Sixty-seventh Street German 
Church, 176. 

Skelding, Deacon, 37. 

Slater, Rev. W. H.. 174. 

Smith, Rev. C. Billings, 154, 155. 

Smith, Mr. Isaac Townsend, 160. 

Smith, Jacob, 28. 

Smith, Rev. J. Cotton, 102. 

Smith, Rev. Robert Bruce. 170. 

Smith, S. F., D. c, 104. 

Smith, Dr. T. Franklin, 162. 

Somers, Rev. Chas. G., 7, 36, 37, 40, 
41, 72, 79. 

South Church, 7, 36-38. 

South Church, Tottenville, 177. 

Southern New York Association, 
26, 85, 151, 202. 

Spelman, Rev. Wm., 7, 25, 26. 

Spurgeon, C. H., 118. 

Stanton Street Church : 7, 39-48, 72 ; 
constituent members, 40; offi- 
cials, 198. 

State Convention, 191. 

Staten Island Churches, 176-178. 

State Street Church, Springfield, 
Mass., 147. 

Stelle, Rev. B. G., 182. 

Steward, Rev. Ira R., 160. 

Stone, Rev. James R., 157. 

Stow, Rev. Baron, 190. 

St. John, Rev. Frank, 168. 

St. Philip's Church, Port Rich- 
mond, N. Y., 177, 178 



Strong Place Chiu-ch, Brooklyn, 

N. Y., 203. 
Swan, Elder Jabez, 192. 
Swaney, Andrew, 198. 

Tabernacle Church : 18, 62-71, 129, 
155, 186, 187, 188, 199-201, 204; 
officials, 199-201. 

Taggart, Rev. Jos. W., 60. 

Taylor, Rev. E. E. L., 203. 

Taylor, Dr. J. Monroe, 203. 

Taylor, Rev. Wm. M., 138. 

Thessalonian Church, 174. 

Third German Church, Morrisania, 
175. 

Thompson, John E., 92. 

Thomssen, Rev. Geo. N., 176. 

Toy, Rev. Daniel S., 177. 

Tremont Church, 165, 166. 

Trevor, John B., 181. 

Trinity Church, 168, 169, 204. 

Tucker, Rev. Elisha, 27, 28. 

Tucker, Rev. H. H., 190. 

Union Church, 39, 159. 

Valentine, David T., 199, 200. 
Vanderlip, Mr. G. M., 7, 8, 28, 30. 
Van Dyke, Francis, 8, 9. 
Vassar College, 203. 

Wagner, Rev. R. T., 176. 
Walker, Rev. B. W., 170. 
Walker, Rev. W. W., 156. 
Wallis, Rev., 12. 
Walsh, Rev. A. Stewart, 38. 
Warburton Avenue Church, Yonk- 

ers, N. Y., 180, 181. 
Warren, Rev. Harry M., 155, 162. 
Washington Heights Church, 48, 

167, 202. 
Washington Market, 194. 
Washington Street Methodist 

Church, Albany, 110. 
Way land. Dr. Francis, 53. 
Wayland, Dr. H. L., 57. 



212 



GENERAL INDEX 



Welch, Rev. Bartholomew T., 75, 

77, 110, 190. 
Welton, Rev. Sidney, 177. 
Wesley, John, 109. 
West Baptist Church, 5, 18, 63. 
West Church, Kreischerville, N. 

Y., 177. 
Westcott, Rev. Isaac, 156. 
Westou, Dr. Henry G., 29, 30. 
Wharton, Lord, 110. 
Wheat, Rev. A. C, 49. 
Wheelock, Rev. Alonzo, 60. 
White, Rev. Harry C, 118. 
Whitehead, James M., 14. 
Wilkins, Rev. Stephen, 156. 
Willard, Chas. E., 190. 



Williams, Rev. John, 14, 21, 40, 53. 
Williams, Rev. Leighton, 57, 58. 
Williams, Mornay, 58. 
Williams, Dr. Wm. R., 7, 53-57. 
Wilson, James, 28. 
Wintertou, Dea. Wm., 199. 
Wisher, Rev. Daniel W., 131, 132, 

170-172. 
Wyckoff, Wm. H., 196, 197. 
Wynn, Rev. R. D., 26. 

Yorkville Church, 155, 162. 

Zoar Baptist Church, 9, 10. 
Zion Church, 7, 26. 



INDEX OF CHURCHES 



List of churches comprising the Southern New York 
Baptist Association in 1898, following the order of their 
organization. 



First, New York, 3, 7, 8, 24, 25, 150- 

154, 158. 
Oliver Street (Epiphany), 3, 4, 7, 8, 

14, 19-23, 27-34, 53, 62, 178, 185, 189. 
Abyssinian, 7, 25, 26. 
North Beriah, 156, 160. 
South, 7, 36, 38. 
Stanton Street (Washington 

Heights), 7, 39-48, 72, 167, 202. 
North, 7, 36, 49-52. 
Amity Street, 7, 53-58, 192. 
Zion, 7, 26. 
Sixteenth, 7, 59-61. 
Broome Street (Cannon Street), 

East, 7, 61. 
Bethesda, New York, 158, 159. 
First Mariners', 60, 160, 161. 
Central Park, 162. 
Ascension, 162, 163. 
Hope Chapel (Calvary), 10, 43, 44, 

45, 189. 
Hope, 163, 202. 
Emmanuel, 129, 131, 163-165. 
Tremont, N. Y., 165, 166. 
Lexington Avenue, 166. 
Alexander Avenue, 166. 
Grace (disbanded), 166, 167. 
Tabernacle, 18, 62-71, 129, 155, 186, 

187, 188, 199-201, 204. 
Redeemer, 167, 168. 
Trinity, 168, 169, 204. 
People's, 163. 



Morningside, 169. 

Riverside, 71, 169, 170. 

Beth Eden, 170. 

Mount Morris, 161, 162. 

Day Star, 173. 

First Swedish, 173. 

First Italian, 173, 174. 

Mount Olivet, 34, 131, 170-173, 175, 
181. 

Shiloh, 174. 

Eagle Avenue, 174. 

Antioch, 174. 

Thessalonian, 174. 

First German, 174, 175. 

Second German, 175. 

Third German, 175. 

First German, Harlem, 176. 

Immanuel German, 176. 

Sixty-seventh Street German, 176. 

Park, Port Richmond, Staten Is- 
land, 176. 

South, Tottenville, Staten Island, 
177. 

Mariners' Harbor, Staten Island, 
177. 

West Kreischerville, Staten Island, 
177. 

First, New Brighton, Staten Is- 
land, 177. 

St. Philip's, Staten Island, 177,178. 

Madison Avenue, New York, 30, 
31, 96, 178, 179. 

213 



214 



INDEX OF CHURCHES 



Memorial, 156-158. 
Sixth Street, 29. 154, 155. 
Central, 156. 

Bethel, White Plains, 183. 
Bethesda, New Rochelle, 183. 
Sharon, N. Y., 170. 
Second Avenue, 170. 
First, Mount Vernon, 180. 
First, White Plains, 180. 
Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, 180, 
181. . 



Mount Gilead, 170. 

North, Port Chester, N. Y., 182. 

First, Suffern, N. Y., 182. 

Calvary, Suffern, N. Y., 183. 

Chappaqua, Chappaqua, N. Y., 183. 

Pilgrim, Nyack, 183. 

Nanuet, 184. 

Nepperhan Avenue, Yonkers, 181. 

Messiah, Yonkers, 181. 

Pilgrim, West Farms, 181, 182, 194. 





Date Due 




















































































































































f) 









?^zJi^..^ V^:<Xr, OWiGHT BAPTIST CHUI 

^e^.^ ALABAMA CITY, ^LA. 



7a^,, x3 ,/9f^^